It’s not often that I recommend an article in the New York Times, and still less often that I nod my head in agreement with an American paper’s analysis of France. (Au contraire!) But art critic Michael Kimmelman’s piece in today’s Times, “A low-brow in high office ruffles France,” actually goes further and, accumulating the worries afflicting French culture these days, ascribes them not just to to the liberal (French sense of the word) funding policies of president Nicolas Sarkozy but to the fact that he’s well, less cultivated than his predecessors. My only quibble would be that the author seems to have spent most of his time talking with the cultural elite and less in cafés, where he’d find that the real disappointment (in French, deception) people feel over Sarkozy is that a president who campaigned as the candidate of ‘purchase power’ is now presiding over its collapse.
April 15, 2008
‘A low-brow in high office ruffles France’