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Bernard-Henri Lévy
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Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher and one of the most esteemed and bestselling writers in Europe. He is the author of over 30 books, including works of philosophy, fiction, and biography. American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville was a New York Times bestseller (2006). Subsequent books in English are Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism (2008) and, with Michel Houellebecq, Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take on Each Other and the World (2011). A 2013 book, Les Aventures de la Verité—Peinture et philosophie, explored the historical interplay of philosophy and art. The book was written as a companion to an exhibition by the same name that Lévy curated for the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence (June 29–November 11, 2013).

His new play, “Hotel Europe,” which premiers in Sarajevo on June 27, 2014, and in Paris on September 9, is a cry of alarm about the crisis facing the European project and the dream behind it.

Lévy gained renown for his documentary film about the Bosnian conflict, Bosna! (1994). After starting his career as a war reporter for Combat — the legendary newspaper founded by Albert Camus during the Nazi occupation of France — for which he covered the war between Pakistan and India over Bangladesh, Lévy was instrumental in the founding of the New Philosophers group. His 1977 book Barbarism with a Human Face launched an unprecedented controversy over the European left’s complicity with totalitarianism. Lévy’s cultural commentary, novels and journalism have continued to stir up such excitement that The Guardian noted he is ‘accorded the kind of adulation in France that most countries reserve for their rock stars.’

Lévy has undertaken several diplomatic missions for the French government. He was appointed by French President Jacques Chirac to head a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan in 2002 in the wake of the war against the Taliban, a war that Lévy supported. He has traveled to the world’s most troubled areas. He followed the trail of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan to research his ‘investigative novel’ Who Killed Daniel Pearl? (2003). His book War, Evil, and the End of History (2004) took him to the sites of what he calls the world's forgotten wars, from Colombia to Sri Lanka. His reportage and commentary from Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war appeared to wide acclaim, in among others, the New York Times Magazine. And after an extensive, clandestine visit to Darfur in 2007, he reported on the ethnic cleansing and genocide there for Le Monde and for The New Republic. His first-hand account of the fall of Moammar Gaddafi in Libya appeared in the form of a writer’s journal (La Guerre sans l’aimer, 2012) and a documentary film (The Oath of Tobruk, which debuted at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival).

Entries by Bernard-Henri Lévy

Questions on Dramatic Monologue

(3) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 8:07 AM

Who is speaking when the actor speaks?

The self or the other self, as Bakhtin would have it?

The ego or the alter ego, as Ionesco put in Notes and Counter Notes?

Or is it the mazes of consciousness, like those of Emma Bovary and Joyce's Stephen Dedalus? Or...

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With the Ukrainian President

(39) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 10:29 AM

Kiev, August 11, 2014

I had not seen Petro Poroshenko since his election.

He greeted me in a large, paneled room where the gold leaf had an oddly rosy tint. Ukrainian television cameras ran for the first few minutes of our interview.

The president brought up our initial...

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Gaza Comes to Paris

(13) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 3:32 PM

Under cover of "the defense of Palestine," thousands gathered in Paris on Sunday to blame the Jews once again.

These imbeciles intermingled with haters (or the other way around) need to be reminded, for what it's worth, that conflating Jews and Israelis in the same condemnation is the very...

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A Million Signatures for Bosnia's Admission to the EU

(2) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 5:28 PM

Please read, and please sign. Admitting Bosnia-Herzegovina to Europe will repair a long-standing injustice and dishonor. My thanks to all who sign this petition online, and I hope you will be many.

--Bernard-Henri Lévy

28 June 2014
Appeal to the Conscience of Europe for the Admission of...

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Europe Must Not Let Bosnia Drown

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 10:50 AM

A single sentence.

A simple one of no apparent import.

A sentence hardly noticed by the media.

But one of the most obscene that I have heard in recent memory.

Spoken by one Stefan Füle, commissioner for enlargement of a Europe that is in the process of reelecting...

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Toward a Government of National Unity in France

(10) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 9:24 AM

France is in danger. In Sunday's elections for the European Parliament, a quarter of France's citizens voted for the worst, choosing the party that was not only anti-Europe but also anti-France. They were betting, not on another policy, but on nihilism, hate, and the methodical destruction of the ties that...

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The Case of Wagner

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 5:51 PM

A week ago today, Marc Bonnant, Alain Carré, and I presented the final installment of "The Case of Wagner," the four-part mock trial that we began at the Grand Theater in Geneva in November 2013.

The question before us was one already posed by Thomas Mann, Jacob Katz,...

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A Sunday Morning in Paris With Mikhail Khodorkovsky

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 1:48 PM

"We're very honored to have you here," begins André Glucksmann, the host, with his wife, Fanfan, of this encounter.

"No, no," interrupts the man who for 10 years was Putin's Man in the Iron Mask, his most famous and enigmatic prisoner of conscience. "The pleasure is mine. You cannot imagine...

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An Emotional Return to Bangladesh -- After 43 Years

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 12:30 PM

Tomorrow, April 25, I will be back in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, 43 years after the intense and dramatic events that shaped my youth. My first book, Les Indes Rouges, an account of my experience in Bangladesh during the year of its founding, is appearing for the first time...

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April Diary

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 6:55 PM

It is curious that that the supposed "insult to the nation" delivered by those who dared to point out France's closeness to the genocidal regime in Rwanda caused more uproar, provoked more indignation, and, it seems, elicited more emotion than did the outrage inflicted on the 800,000 victims of the...

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France's New Government and the Ecology of Cécile Duflot

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 5:06 PM

France's écolos (Greens) bug me.

First, there is in the environmentalism of the EELV (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) an ideological concentrate of puritanism, naturalism, and organicism that has always made me deeply suspicious.

Second, there is the Malthusian impulse that unfailingly surfaces whenever one begins, in the manner of...

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What French Voters Need to Know About the National Front

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 7:17 PM

Heading into the runoffs of the local elections that began Sunday in France, and looking ahead to the European elections in May, there are a few things that French voters should know about the far-right National Front (FN).

They need to know that Louis Aliot, an FN candidate in...

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Listening In

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 9:01 AM

Having voted for the left in 2007 and again in 2012 only makes it easier for me to say how much this business of court-sanctioned wiretaps placed on Nicolas Sarkozy over the course of a full year is both baffling and, as a matter of principle, quite shocking.


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Let's Not Yield to Putin on the Truth

(34) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 8:04 PM

On the subject of the Ukrainian crisis and the possible kidnapping of Crimea by the Russian Federation, we have been hearing two very strange arguments that are in urgent need of rebuttal:

1. Why should the Crimeans be denied the right to decide their fate? If they feel they are...

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Putin's Precedent and Other Topics

(2) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 3:35 PM

Putin's Precedent.

Remember Hitler, waiting for the end of the Winter Olympics that he had organized at great expense at the Garmisch Partenkirchen ski resort, before remilitarizing the Rhineland a few weeks later? Remember that same Hitler, arguing that the people of the Sudetenland spoke German before invading Czechoslovakia...

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Whistleblowers, Painted from Life by Florence Hartmann

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 6:03 PM

I have long reserved judgment on the whistleblowers who periodically make public the bundles of documents, confidential diplomatic cables and eavesdropping transcripts that they come across in the course of their duties.

I have tended to see them as courageous individuals performing an often useful function, but also as...

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A todos los pueblos de Ucrania

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 7:05 AM

¡Pueblo de Maidan!

En esta plaza se encuentran reunidos todos los pueblos de Ucrania. Ucranios del Oeste y ucranios del Este. Ucranios de la ciudad y ucranios llegados del campo. Tártaros y polacos.
Cosacos y judíos. Están aquí los nietos de los supervivientes del Holodomor, aquella hambruna asesina orquestada...

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Kiev's Independence Square -- Where Europe Hangs in the Balance

(24) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 10:24 AM

I had the privilege to speak on February 9 to the crowd gathered in Kiev's Independence Square, which is known as Maidan. This is what I said:

People of Maidan! Here in this square, the people of Ukraine have come together. Those from the west of the country and...

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Copenhagen Sketch

(3) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 4:50 PM

Copenhagen. Royal Library of Denmark. The paradox of a monarchy, a real one, scrupulously attached to its etiquette and protocol, as I had the chance to observe at a gala last night at the French embassy, but one that is also, and without any contradiction, one of the most egalitarian...

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Liberty, Equality, and -- Especially -- Fraternity

(3) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 2:30 PM

In this time of provocative and suggestive "quenelles" and bananas hurled at government officials, of rancid hatred and incendiary clamor, of generalized resentment and vindictive rivalries, we have forgotten a word that badly needs reinventing. That word is fraternity.

Fraternity does not get good press, alas.

It seems...

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