Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A little on Sarko and some Bernard Henri-Levy

Check out the NY Times, there is an op-ed by Bernard Henri-Levy on why he dislikes Sarko. I gather it is supposed to be a review of Sarko's pre-election book "Testimony" but Henri-Levy only obliquely refers to the book.

Here is a bit on Sarko by Jon Vincour of the International Herald Tribune (essential the NY Times abroad).

Also check out this book review by Garrison Keillor of Bernard Henri-Levy's "American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville". Keillor writes a scathing review of the book. His chief complaint with the book that the "research methodology" if you will is wanting. The book is ostensibly about America, its culture, people, religion, politics. Much in the same vein as "Democracy in America" Henri-Levy has set to explore the country as a traveler and to relay his observations. Where Henri-Levy errors, in Keillor's mind, is that he sets out almost exclusively to explore the margins of society. Henri-Levy goes to gun shows, brothels, mega churches, and jails. He interviews celebrities and politicians of all stripes but does not really grasp what is ordinary America. In that sense Keillor's criticism is valid. That said, I do think Henri-Levy, in spite of narrow spirit of his travels, demonstrates an open-mindedness and curiosity that in my experience is not common amongst Europeans (or Americans for that matter). The result is a novel that explores a caricature of America, a distinctly European caricature at that, but whose purpose is not confirm that caricature.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Henri-Levy is no Tocqueville. He is however no fool when it comes to philosophy. See his book "Sartre: The Philosopher of the Twentieth Century."

—Ilya

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

No Tocqueville but still a worthwhile read. When are you going to grace us with one of your posts?