Karl Sharro in Karl reMarks:
Philosopher, intellectual, diva, poster boy for humanitarian interventionism, post-Foucauldian striptease artist. Bernard Henri Lévy has been called many things over the years, but none of those descriptions quite capture the essence of France’s Numéro Un public intellectual (now that all the others have died). Who is the real BHL, as he is lovingly referred to in France, and why does his moniker sound like the name of a French department store? In order to answer those questions, and have an excuse to call him a few more things, we spent seven minutes inside his head. Here’s the transcript narrated by the Gallic Über-coif himself.
I woke up feeling rather good this morning. We had taken Timbuktu. My heart pumps with anticipation at the thought of handling the ancient erotic manuscripts from Timbuktu’s library. And the locals that we liberated from the tyranny of the barbarians of course. But those manuscripts! The glistening naked bodies under the hot desert sun, depicted with love and attention by great artists. I am breathless. (At this stage, we had to interject and tell BHL to move on, it was getting awkward.)
I spend a mere 35 minutes in front of the mirror arranging my hair in its classic form, a visual allusion to Napoleon’s famous hat, recreated in the gentle upward curves of my hair strands. I am of course the embodiment of his persona and political will. I reminded, what’s his name,… oui, Hollande, of this the other day. I said, ‘Philip, we must go into Mali. This is your chance to leave your mark on history.’ Then I remembered his name was Francois, but he didn’t seem to mind. The Napoleon analogy was attractive to him. A simple man.