Bernard-Henri Lévy (1948 - ) is a French intellectual, media personality, and author.
Bernard-Henri Levy described himself to me, as we sat in his office…with a rather ironical glint in his eyes. I had asked whether the exasperated, passionate tone in his books, like L’Ideologie Francaise and La Barbarie a visage humain, was a tone he adopted, or whether it sprang from his personality:
“I believe it stems from my personality…yes, I’m sure it does… I am a mixture of nonchalance, and I have a taste for the good life, and easeful living, and pleasure on the one hand. And then, on the other hand, I am febrile, furious, frenetic, sectarian, brutal, and violent.”
“And violent?” I asked.
“Yes. I am violent. When I was a young man I would often get into fights. I was quite content to settle an argument with my fists, rather than discussing the issue; I’m not tolerant, absolutely not. I think there’s a contradiction in me, between the self that has a taste for easeful living, and the self that enjoys a fight. I have causes that I fight for with every ounce of determination."
Read the full interview from Through Parisian Eyes [PDF]