Paris (AFP) – If Alain Finkielkraut called “among you and be welcomed to the sound of the drum, it is not to be believed” the philosopher, a descendant of Polish Jewish victims of the Shoah, “exalted champion national identity “, was received in 66 years Thursday at the French Academy.
The arrival under the dome of this brilliant intellectual, accused of” neo-reactionary “and tireless destroyer of politically correct, aroused gnashing of teeth. Alain Finkielkraut was elected in 2014 in the first round by 16 votes out of 28, but his name was canceled by a cross in repudiation of sign, eight bulletins.
In defining himself as an “heir Enlightenment “, the essayist, used for TV sets, made its debut among equals, to the sound of drum rolls of the Republican Guard, wearing the traditional green coat, under the eye of his wife, his son , many personalities and the Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who on Monday received at Matignon.
“This is to mine that I think,” he has said, in its preamble speech. “To my parents of course, not there to know this happiness: the entrance of their son to the French Academy while the credit goes to them.”
They “were sorry see me assimilate to the nation by sacrificing my Jewish identity even though this identity was reflected more for them or so for me, by the rituals of tradition, “continued the author of the” imaginary Jew ” recalling that “it is in France and with the complicity of the French State that (his) father was deported” to Auschwitz.
This polemicist always quick to denounce the republican school of decline emphasized that his parents “have not really left him no choice but to be studious and bring good papers.”
But “being French accounted nothing special ( m) are eyes “, said Alain Finkielkraut, whose cult show” Replica “on France Culture has just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary
-. ‘wandering Origins’ –
” I discovered that I liked France the day I realized that she too was mortal, “a love” I tried to express in many of my books and recent interventions “. “This is me being called a backward-looking, reactionary, or even worse,” he began.
As per tradition, Alain Finkielkraut was to praise his predecessor, playwright and novelist of Belgian origin, Felicien Marceau. But he has been sentenced in absentia to release 15 years in prison for cooperation when he was a reporter for Radio Brussels between 1940 and 1942.
Exercise is tricky, a-t- he acknowledged. “An enthusiastic supporter of national identity, oblivious of its origins and wandering compelled to praise a collaborator: there is no chance, do our vigilant, and they rub their hands, they lick chops. “
The new Immortal Marceau has made a portrait without concessions, nuancing the extent of its commitment, setting it in the context of pacifism of the interwar period, calling his conviction of “exorbitant” and recalling that French nationality had been granted him by General de Gaulle.
Coming from the left, Alain Finkielkraut said he was “betrayed and even threatened by vigilantes presumptuous that populate intellectual scene “. According to him, “we put the name to the pinnacle of Primo Levi, but this is Quentin Tarantino who leads the game is on the model of Inglorious Basterds + + that everyone is his film.”
After recalling the path of the philosopher in a way that is both critical and accomplice, the historian Pierre Nora concluded: “the Company opened its arms to you, you will know that with it is that happy identity. ” “So suffer, dear Alain Finkielkraut – suffer without suffering too much – you are welcome to know”
Before the ceremony, his friends had given him his Academician sword.. On this symbolic weapon, the philosopher called for engraved: a Norman cow, Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and this sentence of Charles Péguy that summarizes his commitment: “The Republic One and Indivisible, our kingdom of France “.