The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland (Counterblasts)

By Jade Lindgaard

How will we clarify what Perry Anderson calls “the extraordinary prominence of Bernard-Henri Lévy,” simply the best-known “thinker” less than sixty in France? “It would,” he keeps, “be tricky to visualize a extra striking reversal of nationwide criteria of flavor and intelligence than the eye accorded this crass booby in France’s public sphere, regardless of innumerable demonstrations of his lack of ability to get a truth or an idea directly. may well this type of gruesome flourish in the other significant Western tradition today?”

This booklet, in accordance with a cautious research evaluating BHL’s phrases together with his deeds, seeks to discover the extraordinary endurance of this superstar pseudo-philosopher considering the fact that he burst onto the scene in 1977. Delving into his networks within the spheres of politics, the media and large company, Lindgaard and de l. a. Porte exhibit what the luck of this three-decade lengthy imposture tells us in regards to the degeneration of latest French highbrow and cultural existence.

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70 as though they'd by no means met prior to! In 2002, in his report back to the President of the Republic and the major Minister, he gave a particularly varied model: ‘I take note significant Massoud from our first assembly, 20 years in the past. ’ meanwhile Massoud, murdered through an Al Qaeda squad, had turn into an emblem of resistance to Islamist fundamentalism, a celebrated hero after approximately 20 years of overlook by way of Western governments and heads of nation, and a really remoted determine for all that point. He was once all too effortless to co-opt as a ‘friend’ of lengthy status. AUGUST 2008: MARCHING via GEORGIA In his armoury as a showman of dedication, Bernard-Henri Lévy’s heaviest weapon is his battle reporting. For years his studies have been released in Le Monde, the paper learn by means of France’s elites, a huge buyer for the epic BHLian type, offering the essayist with a strong outlet and a prestigious endorsement – until eventually battle broke out among Russia and Georgia in 2008. On eight August of that 12 months the small Georgian republic, led by means of the younger president Mikheil Saakashvili, elected following the ‘Rose Revolution’ of 2003, attacked the separatist province of South Ossetia and took its capital, Tskhinvali. Russia in reprisal shelled Gori, in Georgia. The clash, at midsummer, took the realm abruptly, and out of doors observers stumbled on it tough to apportion duties. The struggle basically lasted 3 or 4 days, a ceasefire being signed on 12 August. The peace plan went some distance in the direction of pleasurable Russia’s calls for, leaving Europe uneasy over a poorly resolved clash. It was once by contrast advanced, transferring historical past, tough to decipher even for pro Caucasus-watchers, that Bernard-Henri Lévy became up in Georgia. He acquired a piece of writing out of the journey, released by means of Le Monde on 19 August 2008 and subsequent day through the united states site the Huffington put up: ‘Choses vues dans los angeles Géorgie en guerre’, or ‘Georgia at conflict: What I Saw’, the identify back echoing Victor Hugo. the writer is prominently featured, traveling the Ossetian roads, looking at Russian troops, interrogating a peasant, assembly Saakashvili, sharing a nightcap with the USA diplomat Richard Holbrooke, architect of the Dayton accords of 1995 that ended the battle in Bosnia. The textual content is suffering from clichés: Russians scent of vodka, a wounded guy is ‘dazed and terrified’, there's a ‘slight smell of putrefaction and death’, and tanks ‘rumble’. Satirical remark began to appear shortly. A merciless parody seemed at the French information web site Rue89: ‘I run my hand via my wild three-day beard. I’ve left my razor in Istanbul, the place I had learn Atatürk’s memoirs at the seashores of the Bosphorus. ’ A pro-Russian model seemed at the opinion web site Causeur. fr. within the piece, Bernard-Henri Lévy paints an apocalyptic portrait of Gori. The Russians have ‘burned it down, pillaged it, lowered it to a ghost city. Emptied. ’ The essayist is going directly to say that ‘in their wake, Ossetian and Cossack bands pillaged, raped and murdered’, that ‘fathers have been killed in entrance in their sons.

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