Bernard-Henri Lévy

The Art of Philosophy is Only Worthwhile if it is an Art of War.

Philosopher contre Hegel et les néo­hégéliens. Philosopher contre l'inter­prétation pré-Bataille, et pré-Collège de sociologie, de la politique de Nietzsche. Philosopher contre le néo-platonisme et son démon de l'absolu. Philosopher contre Bergson et son avatar, justement, deleuzien. Philosopher contre la volonté de pureté, ou de guérir, dont j'ai démontré ailleurs qu'elle est la vraie matrice de ce qu'on a appelé, trop vite, les totalitarismes et qu'une guerre conceptuelle bien menée permet de mieux nommer. Philosopher pour nuire à ceux qui m'empêchent d'écrire et de philosopher. Philosopher pour empêcher, un peu, les imbéciles et les salauds de pavoiser. Philosopher contre Badiou. Philosopher contre la gidouille Zizek. Philosopher contre le parti du sommeil, des clowns ou des radicalités meurtrières. Pardon, mais c'est la vérité. Chaque fois que j'ai, depuis trente ans, fait un peu de philosophie c'est ainsi que j'ai opéré : dans une conjoncture donnée, compte tenu d'un problème ou d'une situation déterminés, identifier un ennemi et, l'ayant identifié, soit le tenir en respect, soit, parfois, le réduire ou le faire reculer. Guerre de guérilla, encore. Harcèlement. Et à la guerre comme à la guerre.

Bernard-Henri Lévy or BHL

Bernard-Henri Lévy is dedicated to all struggles for human dignity. He upholds the tradition established by André Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus of the writer committed to action as well as ideas.

He has ceaselessly devoted his talent, energy, and courage to the causes he felt to be just: from his first reports in Bangladesh for the daily newspaper Combat, founded by Albert Camus, to his investigation of Daniel Pearl’s death in Pakistan, to his several journeys to a Sarajevo surrounded by Serbian militias, and forays into the “forgotten wars” of Africa and elsewhere.

Graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure with a degree in philosophy, a writer, novelist, journalist, agitator of ideas, filmmaker, founder of the quarterly La Règle du Jeu, and an editorialist for Le Point, where he writes a weekly column on politics, arts and culture, Bernard-Henri Lévy (known as BHL) is on a permanent crusade.

There is, however, an overarching preoccupation throughout his work: the idea of Evil.

For BHL, the 20th century was the century of Evil: fascism, totalitarianism, terrorism, as well as fundamentalism, are the successive forms that this Evil has taken and continues to take at the beginning of this 21st century.

BHL is a philosopher who variously charms and irritates.

He is reproached as being a provocateur for the vehemence and courage with which he defends his opinions.

He is accused of being media-hungry for having always thought it best to address, via television, the widest possible audience.

One may love or hate BHL, but it is impossible to remain indifferent.

His impassioned eloquence, the lyricism of his prose, his spirited and fiery defense of the most hopeless causes, and his humanist and activist views have made him an easy target of criticism, but they have also inspired the most intense admiration in France and around the world.

Among contemporary French writers and intellectuals, he is the “beacon burning on a thousand citadels”, ever ready to become impassioned.

The definition that Sartre gave to his own work could be equally applied to Bernard-Henri Lévy: “What I sought were events that must be written about in a literary way and which, at the same time, carried philosophic meaning.”

Liliane Lazar.