bernard the leftist


IT IS, or was, fashionable to look down on Bernard-Henri Lévy, a French writer and intellectual. The left tends to despise him for questioning its idols. It doesn’t help that he is rich, talks intelligibly and has a beautiful wife. The right condescends to him for being vain, glib and writing too many books.

So it was satisfying for Mr Lévy to get a begging call from Nicolas Sarkozy last year when he was running for the French presidency. The two men knew each other from Mr Sarkozy’s former constituency, Neuilly, on the edge of Paris, where Mr Lévy lives and votes. As France’s star intello de gauche, could Mr Lévy write “a nice article” endorsing him? No, he couldn’t, Mr Lévy told him. The left was his family. “Your family?” Mr Sarkozy retorted, “These people who’ve spent 30 years telling you to go fuck yourself?” Mr Lévy held firm. Despite everything, he still belonged on the left.

more from The Economist here.