Memoir in Two Voices
I see myself, Mitterrand confides, as… the guardian of memory. Assisting the late French president in this final act of friendship is Nobel laureate Wiesel. The dying Mitterrand, seemingly prompted by Wiesel, unburdens himself of his last memories and confessions, discussing childhood, faith, war, literature and power. Wiesel occasionally reaches for personal parallels to the crafty old politician’s recollections and insights. We learn little new about Wiesel other than that he remains a masterly storyteller. His primary role is to evoke Mitterrand’s cautious, ostensibly candid responses. The central issue is Mitterrand’s embarrassment that he has been cozy with, and may have protected, Rene Bousquet, who, Wiesel observes, handed over little Jewish children to the Nazis but was exonerated by the notoriously lax postwar French judicial system. The relationship finally ended when Bousquet’s crimes?errors, to Mitterrand?were proved in the late 1980s. I’m not a man, he claims loyally, who changes his opinion about his colleagues just because the world has come down on them.
|Format||15 × 22 cm|