“Moving to Lucinges in Haute-Savoie gave just me the distance I needed to retreat. “
Several decades ago, poetry was introduced to a charming village in the Voirons mountain range. Michel Butor settled in Lucinges in 1989.
A versatile artist, Michel Butor is considered to be one of the most prolific authors ever. With over 1,400 works to his credit, this writer, poet and artist liked to mix genres.
Famous for his novels, especially La Modification, his works are in the New Novel category. Yet, most of his work is dedicated to the creation of artist books. He participated in the creation of thousands of books.
Trained in literature and philosophy, Michel Butor became a school teacher after failing France’s highest teaching qualification, the aggregation test, in philosophy. He took time out travel around Europe to explore its bountiful culture. With a taste for history, ancient languages and philosophy, he began teaching in Geneva in 1956.
In 1989, he settled in the heights of Lucinges with his wife. Professor at University of Geneva, he had a strong impact on the French-Swiss area.
From 1989 to 2016, Michel Butor wrote many texts and several hundred poems in his home which he named L’Ecart. He found balance in this charming village.
Located on the southern flank of the Voirons mountains, Lucinges is the ideal lookout point. The Jura, Annemasse and Geneva with its Jet d’eau fountain can all be contemplated from the town centre. On the other side, the Salève mountain, Arve valley and the Alpes stretch before you. This remarkable panorama was ideal for Michel Butor who was a watchful walker.
He tool to the trails in search of inspiration. Walking to enrich his mind with words, paintings, memories and music, he listened. Try it, as you follow in his footsteps to discover this remarkable mountain range. The church carillon, cow bells, and torrents of water enhance the tranquillity of this gentle landscape.
Thanks to Michel Butor’s influence, Lucinges gradually attributed a prominent place to poetry in local life. His durable commitment resulted in the town receiving the “poetic village” label.
The clock has just struck noon. There’s no need to venture very far. Let your stomach guide you to the Bistro de Madeleine, on the church square in Lucinges.
The chef has chosen engaged cuisine with respect for nature and life. Discussions with local producers inspired him to change his menu every day. Following this philosophy, he changes his menu to reflect fare offered by local producers.
Bistro de Madeleine serves nostalgic cuisine inspired by local products and responsible farmers.
It’s the ideal place to get together to share, laugh, drink and so much more.
After lunch, it’s time to get back to exploring Michel Butor’s world. It’s just a few steps to the entrance of his former home, Archipel Butor. The thick walls of this old fortified house, typical of the region, is now home to a museum dedicated to books, the Manoir des Livres.
Michel Butor refused to be associated with any single literary movement including the New Novel movement. He preferred poetry and explored the creation of artist books. By developing this genre, Michel Butor worked with many other people from all walks of life including publishers, paper makers, artists and poets. Versatile and eager for new experiences, the travelling writer worked with dozens of artists throughout his life. He participated in thousands of book collaborations between 1962 and 2016.
In 2011, Michel Butor made his first donation of one hundred artists books to Lucinges. This initial collection gave birth to a project: the creation of a space entirely dedicated to conserving and showcasing artists books.
For the local Lucinges population, Michel Butor was a neighbour. For the rest of the world, he was a living monument of French literature. He now has his Archipel and book museum.