He embodies brilliantly three gifts: the gift of friendship, the gift of love, and the gift of wisdom. Happy Birthday to Andrei Pleșu, a noble citizen of the European Republic of Letters!
Image: Launching my book “Fantasies of Salvation” at the Embassy of Romania, Washington, DC, November 1998.
City of liberty, Gdańsk, March 2017: In memory of the great European philosopher Jan Patočka, for whom responsibility was a duty and a virtue. Born in 1907, this student of Edmund Husserl became a spokesman for Charter 77. He died forty
And when man faces destiny, destiny ends and man comes into his own. (André Malraux)
This post is dedicated to the memory of two Andrés: Malraux (1901-1976) and Glucksmann (1937-2015). To be or not to be European? This is question. The French elections are about modernity versus traditionalism, inclusion versus exclusion, civic patriotism versus atavistic xenophobia, hope versus fear, confrontation with the ignoble pages of the past versus revisionist denial, tolerance versus intolerance, Enlightenment versus Counter–Enlightenment, the France of Jean Jaurès, Léon Blum, Jean Moulin, Jean Monnet, Pierre Mendès-France, René Char, and Albert Camus versus the France of Charles Maurras, “L’Action Francaise,” Drumont, Vichy, les collabos, Doriot, “Je suis partout,” and the neo-Poujadisme. The very fact that Emmanuel Macron is a member of the editorial board of the monthly journal “L’esprit” indicates a political philosophy committed to the open society. I definitely support him and I do hope that he will be the winner!
When the deadly jester, as Adam Kirsch called Slavoj Žižek in a December 2008 article, pontificates that there is no real difference between Le Pen and Macron (maybe for him there is a surreal one, who knows ), I can’t resist sharing with my friends here the old and, alas, still so timely joke. What’s the difference between a democracy and a people’s democracy? The same as the one between a chair and an electric chair. Or, if you prefer, the one between a jacket and a straitjacket…
Marine Le Pen is the name of all the things I despise, dislike, and disparage. I will not post a picture with her. She’s evil. And, if the name of the newspaper Camus wrote for means something, I think that Combat is the call of the day. Therefore I post this. Maybe Marine Le Pen and her supporters have not found it out yet: Nazi Germany did capitulate!
Breakfast at Cafe Grande in Torun, Poland, March 2017: double espresso and my favorite pastry, sour cherry cake…