Bernard-Henri Lévy’s American Vertigo

An exchange between Alan Wolfe and Franklin Foer in Slate:

Bhl1To get to the important question first: Did I mind that Bernard-Henri Lévy chose not to make his conversations with me into a mise-en-scène? No; given what you say about him, how could I? I have no way of knowing whether he would have treated me with kindness à la Fukuyama or with rolled-up fists à la Kristol. Besides, I am not enough of a celebrity, and compared to Sharon Stone, my looks are—how shall I put it?—just not very outré.

On celebrity worship, you get BHL right, even if you run the risk of treating Lévy the way Lévy treats Los Angeles. (Bernard-Henri attracted to Hollywood types? I never would have imagined it.) And it is not just celebrities. Russell Means? Refugee from Wounded Knee and one-time friend of Marlon Brando he may be, but now he is a pathetic anti-Semite. “I am happy and proud to meet him,” Lévy writes. Clearly BHL lives not only in Paris but in the 1960s, and the latter is actually more damaging to one’s critical sensibilities than the former.

More here.