The politician, and author, delivers a sensitive meditation on ambition, power and existence through the memory of a deceased friend.
Paul. A friendship, by Bruno Le Maire, Gallimard, 160 p., 15 €.
François Mitterrand, who haunted the cemeteries, thought it was the duty of the living to organize the memory of their dead. "Thinking about people we loved, is to ensure for their life time their survival," repeated the old president, who venerated this fidelity.
Paul. A friendship, ninth book of Bruno Le Maire since The Minister (Grasset, 2004), opens on a remanence. While strolling in the aisles of the Japanese Garden of Buenos Aires, the Minister of Economy is overwhelmed by the ghost of a friend who died of a brain tumor a few weeks earlier. "She was there Paul's death, among the trees trimmed from the garden (…) a breath of wind made one shudder (…), he writes. By what mystery (…) was he coming back now to thousands of kilometers (…) to prolong the too short life that had been his? "
This stubborn friend
Before becoming this friend "Spiritual" Paul is primarily a political friend. Senior executive at retirement, he helps "Bruno" at "Get up" after his failure to the primary of the right (2.4% of votes), in the fall of 2016. Very shaken, the deputy of the Eure think then stop everything, but this stubborn friend brings him back to himself. "Paul had opened new ways for me (…) he had moved me. Only friends who move you are important. "
In this short and serious story, Bruno Le Maire talks at length about the meetings with Paul, in the Basque Country in the summer, "When life never seemed to have to end," at Pitié-Salpêtrière, in Paris, in winter, then in a nursing home, when it's over. Brexit and the fragility of the EU, music and speed, literature and faith, but also loneliness and fear of the coming death, irrigate these hours "The most honest of [sa] life as the stripped ones ».
Delicately, draws the modest and bright portrait of a gentle and discreet man, to "Elegance full of detachment" and at the "Infinite kindness", unable to see the evil. Caught in the political whirlwind, pascalian entertainment, Emmanuel Macron's minister is sometimes annoyed by this " goodness " which, in the eyes of the world, could be silly or ridiculous, if it were not for Paul "A lifestyle choice", the "Condition of his happiness".