Saturday, January 16, 2016

Frederic Mitterrand to the French Academy: the pros and cons – Le Figaro

The former culture minister assumes the chair of Assia Djebar. The election will be held March 3. Here are three reasons why it might be elected. And the three reasons why it might fail.

The three reasons for a possible election

1) Good companion

It is not known, but the company likes the candidate is not a bad guy. Alain Decaux had brushed the ideal profile and given the explanation “To be greeted at the French Academy, he must show his notoriety, his talent and courtesy. The first two requirements are obvious. The third requires only a little thought: we will attend the newly elected … for years, “he said, citing his colleague, the diplomat Jacques Chastanet. Erik Orsenna had summed it all with these words: “The academy is a company, and to integrate it, you have to be a good companion. If this is the best scientists and that it is not a pleasant business, it will have little chance of being accepted. “

2) Institution Respectful

This is not nothing. Immortals appreciate that elected plays the game of the institution, including being present at meetings of Thursday afternoon and obviously by going to receptions academics. The pinnacle, but it takes some time before you get there, is participation in the session of the dictionary Commission held on Thursday morning. In this connection, it should not take that model which has held the chair in which he postulates: once elected, Assia Djebar has been conspicuously absent

3) His path. and experience

Frédéric Mitterrand sixty-eight. And a rich and diverse courses. He was director, producer, actor, teacher, TV host, journalist. The nephew of François Mitterrand is primarily a writer. It is known through his television programs ( Star and paintings , Living with Fred …). But the most important among all these rich experiences, is passing the head of the Ministry of Culture for almost three years. He previously directed the Villa Medici, an important institution. In a way, this literary journey, political and institutional reminiscent of Xavier Darcos, elected in June 2013.

The three reasons for possible failure

1) The “ritual” of humility

There, to the French Academy, a sort of “ritual” of humility which does is not always accepted by potential candidates: it’s not because we postulated that one will be elected. To make it clear that humility, the Company may not be elected, at the first presentation, a personality so famous it is. Most immortals have to apply several times. It even happens that a politician of high importance and high profile lost against an English poet unknown. We remember that in 2013, Jean-Noël Jeanneney, former minister and former president of Radio France and the BNF, was beaten by Michael Edwards (for the record, Edwards had applied three times to take the chair Jean Dutourd). Immortals willingly recall that the great Victor Hugo had four losses before joining the Dome.

2) The next people

Between awareness and people side, the heart of the French Academy does not balance. Immortals do not like the people, that is to say, the personalities who make a lot of wind without a true cultural baggage behind. Do not forget that the first mission of the Society is to defend and to hold high the French language. Frederic Mitterrand was a man of television, knowledge and culture are obviously recognized

3) The surprise vote

There is an intangible rule at the Academy: an election is never won. How many times have we seen a candidate be sure of the number of votes it would win to settle in immortal chair? The anecdotes are as numerous as tasty. For a candidate who was surprised not to be elected, it is said that the immortal Edgar Faure said: “. I gave you my word, you do not want me to give you my voice,” It is well known: “The promises engage only those who receive them. “


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