A big crack in the kitchen, a curtain torn, a wall that is leaning… The field girondin de Malagar, where François Mauriac spent his holidays, has embarked on two years of renovation works of the cellar and then the house of the writer of bordeaux. Within a park of four acres, the home of the writer, purchased by his great-grand-father in the shape of a U with its two cellars of the Eighteenth century. It dominates the vineyards around Saint-Maixant, 40 minutes south of Bordeaux.
“I did live there for three months of the year, but this is the time where I like the most,” wrote the journalist in 1951, in his notepad . He came in at Easter and during the harvest. Nearly 70 years later, her house still looks like with “the smell of wax and mignonette” in the dining-room, newspapers of 1966, lamps, a turntable, portraits of family and his office on which he has written. The Nobel prize for literature had to do was turn her head to see the vineyards and the avenue of poplars that he planted.
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“The winery’s white was the most urgent, the walls threatened to collapse. There is a problem of the ground with a very clayey and few foundations. It has big problems of cracking”
After restoration in 1996, the chai of the red and the agricultural building, the time is eating the house from the Nineteenth century weak foundations. Same for the chai white, promised to become a place of mediation, school performances and conferences. Two old presses are the only witnesses of the wine-growing past of the area, which had 14 acres of vines until the children Mauriac sell. In 1985, they give the buildings and the park to the region for the centenary of the birth of their father. “The winery’s white was the most urgent, the walls threatened to collapse. There is a problem of the ground with a very clayey and few foundations. It has big problems of cracking”, explains Delphine Gramaglia, heritage architect.
the Work in the cellar of the white area of Malagar, the property of the writer François Mauriac, in the Gironde department Centre François Mauriac to Keep the soul of Mauriac
In the fermenting room, the walls should be redone. They had been built in the time of the poet, to set up his office, and upstairs two bedrooms, one of which was occupied during the Second world War by a German officer. Once the chai is finished, the furniture of the house, will be stored during the duration of the works, which start in November to replace hangings, to restore the electrical network, and injecting resin into the foundations of the house.
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The biggest challenge ? To keep the soul of Mauriac patinated by the years, and has remained intact since his death: “It was an experience we absolutely must keep. We are going to make the patina of ageing to have the impression that we did not intervene on the building. This will be the big problem,” says the architect.
As the author of Therese Desqueyroux , a novel, in part written to Malagar, has left a large footprint, inspiring places to write a atmosphere still present today: the kitchen “smoky” and the vines described in Flesh and Blood or in the bedroom of Louis in The Node viper which is the one of the spouses Mauriac.
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In total, the work begun in the end of the year are expected to cost € 2.8 million. “The idea was not to make a museum, put it under a lid, but keep it alive with intellectual debates…”, notes the president of the region’s New-Aquitaine, Alain Rousset. They will allow “to increase the capacity, and the manifestations of Malagar (…) and take advantage of the latest digital technology”, he says, by offering a virtual tour of the house during the duration of the work and those who can’t make it on the site. Open to all, the centre François Mauriac continue as normal this year a lot of cultural events, starting with the flagship event: the Harvest of Malagar the theme of the conferences for this 21st edition is anchored in reality: “Choose or need to have?”.