Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, May 10, 2021

Consider these assessments by playwright Yasmina Reza of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, gleaned from her yearlong stint as insider on his 2007 campaign trail:

“One of the things that I liked about him — there are many things, but this really seduced me — was his insolence,” she recalled. “But he has not understood that power is itself insolent and that he could not continue with his habitual insolences. During the campaign his insolence seemed like an expression of freedom, frankness. But in office he has not curbed it, he has misjudged its effect.”…

Ms. Reza was not surprised when Mr. Sarkozy was next seen dating the former model Carla Bruni, whom he married in February. “He’s the kind of man who is incapable of being alone,” she said. “I don’t think he can spend a night alone, an evening alone. There may be passing affairs, but he needs someone real. So quickly someone serious entered his life.”…

“I think he is a tragic personality, a man bent on self-destruction,” she said. “It wasn’t clear during the campaign, but I am convinced that he has a powerful faculty for self-destruction.”

With all that in mind, let me throw this out there:

Is Sarkozy just France’s version of Bill Clinton, appropriately amped up for a Gallic political culture? Both men came into office as establishment-challenging reformers, after all. And as far as spotlight moments: Imagine the Monica Lewinsky scandal culminating not in impeachment, but rather in a divorce and remarriage… And you’ve got the Carla Bruni episode.

If all this holds, I guess we’ll be seeing a meltdown from the Presidential Palace in Paris before all’s done.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/10/2021 06:52:59 PM
Category: Celebrity, Politics
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Something out of my current fiction-reading that rings true for me:

“…I’ve always found the minute portraiture of nineteenth-century fiction fairly useless. For me, those precise descriptions of the hero’s nose/mouth/eyes/moles/forehead never come together as an actual face. Maybe it’s a failure of synthetic imagination on my part, but in my mind they always end up jumbled, like a portrait in the analytic cubist mode. It’s always easier to visualize the minor characters, with their bestial analogues, done in the broad stroke of caricature — Mr. Fox, Mr. Rat, Miss Sheep. Then, too, as a reader I like to take a certain amount of responsibility for filling in the details.”

- Connor McKnight, protagonist from Jay McInerney’s “Model Behavior”

I’ve always experienced a similar shortcoming whenever trying to mentally reconstruct a detailed description of some literary character. It never gets to the “cubist mode” stage for me, though — I simply don’t bother to connect the intended dots, and the visages just remain vague.

For that reason, I avoid prose that goes into such exacting detail, because it does nothing for me, and in facts bogs down the flow. I prefer a sacrifice in that area in favor of better-paced plot and dialogue. And I guess I take that “responsibility for filling in the details” to heart — give me enough of the framework, for character and even setting, and I’ll come up with the construct.

(Yes, my “current” reading material is a decade old. What can I say, I’ve been pretty disappointed by the new releases I’ve sampled lately, and so have gone back to the well, author-wise. And actually, there’s a lot of McInerney that I’ve never read before, including this novel.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/10/2021 04:38:20 PM
Category: Creative, Publishing
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