Founder of the publishing house L’Iconoclaste, Sophie de Sivry died on May 31 in Paris, at the age of 64, after eighteen months of fighting cancer, the violence of which never deterred her from her professional mission, since she continued to support her authors with uncommon energy and fervor.
She was born in Lille on June 16, 1958, the last-born of four siblings in a family involved in the textile industry. From his early childhood, the family moved to Paris. She only freed herself from a wise and conformist adolescence when she enrolled in hypokhâgne then in khâgne, at the Condorcet high school. The Ecole Normale Supérieure in Fontenay, where she made lasting friendships, seemed to be destined for teaching. Sophie de Sivry, however, does not intend to follow this path. His passion for painting made him rather consider a career in the fine arts; she is also preparing for the museum curator competition. But failure is tough. The young woman takes six months to recover, when she replaces Flammarion editions, fine books sector.
It is then that she will discover that her place is where the dialogue between images and words takes place. This love at first sight for the illustrated edition, she saw it with Robert Laffont, assistant to Laurent, the son of the editor in charge of beautiful books. The work in co-edition with the National Library captivated her and, as soon as the publication of The memory of ink (1991), which she pilots, we measure the impeccable rigor and scientific precision that will preside over the projects that it will launch from now on.
The choice of name is equivalent to program
At that time, Sophie met Laurent Beccaria. The couple will now live a double editorial adventure where each remains master of their options since both elect their own address: for Laurent Les Arènes, for Sophie L’Iconoclaste, house founded in 1997. The choice of name is worth program . We can not respect the sacred, get rid of icons, in a word, see and think free. While sticking to the learning acquired in the houses she frequented. And the new editor then clarified: “We chose rarity. Publish few titles but very successful objects both in terms of text and production. We cultivate an artisanal approach to the profession while using contemporary instruments so that the book reaches the reader. »
Magnificent works follow: Memories of the world. Five centuries of untold and secret stories at the Quai d’Orsay (2001), World Adventurers. The great French explorers at the time of the first photographers, 1866-1914 (2003), The Herbarium of the World. Five centuries of botanical adventures and passions at the Natural History Museum (2004), then Memories of the sea. Five centuries of treasures and adventures (2005). So many events at the end of each year.
At the same time, Sophie de Sivry compiles a catalog where each author is chosen, supported, carried even by this empathy and this sincerity which allow each one to accomplish his project as accurately as possible. By Christophe André, whose Meditate, day by day (2011) enjoyed astounding success, to Christian Bobin, whose The Man of Joy (2012) revives the career in bookstores.
Few books each year
Finally, Sophie de Sivry, so modest, so benevolent and not inclined to put herself in the spotlight, she who enlightens her authors, turns out to be a fierce competitor when she decides to invest in the field of romance. From the start of the 2015 school year, with Victor Hugo has just died, of her friend Judith Perrignon, she approached the novel and quickly acquired real recognition in this area.
Few books each year, only one first novel in the fall, and a very recognizable graphic identity signed Quintin Leeds, who works for the reviews of the Arènes. Audacity and joy: this could be the motto of a designer who also knew how to leave with her husband and their four daughters for a six-month sabbatical in 2006, the time of a journey in Africa and Southeast Asia. Because the adventure is not limited neither to professional life nor to unexpected parentheses.
At the time of Sophie’s early disappearance, the journalist at World Pascale Robert-Diard, who of the story The Deposition (2016) to novel The Little Liar (2022) was welcomed, ” scope “ by Sophie de Sivry, evokes the“absolute elegance” of the one who “gave his light to others” and delivered his energy without counting. Olivia de Lamberterie, journalist and literary critic, remembers a friend “luminous, ardent, animated by a flame and a grace which were only fervor”never complaining, too invested in defending books like her friends.
Sophie de Sivry in a few dates
June 16, 1958 Born in Lille
1997 Creates the publishing house L’Iconoclaste
2001 Lead and publish ” Memories of the World »
2015 First romantic comeback
May 31, 2023 Death in Paris