Playwright releases book on Sarkozy

23rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 23, 2007 (AFP) - A much-awaited book on Nicolas Sarkozy by one of France's most famous playwrights, Yasmina Reza, goes on sale Friday, offering an up-close and personal view of the new French president.

PARIS, Aug 23, 2007 (AFP) - A much-awaited book on Nicolas Sarkozy by one of France's most famous playwrights, Yasmina Reza, goes on sale Friday, offering an up-close and personal view of the new French president.

Reza followed Sarkozy on the campaign trail for a year leading up to his election in May, notebook in hand to jot down his musings about power and politics, the men and women on his team and life in general.

Entitled "L'aube le soir ou la nuit" (Dawn, Evening or Night), the 185-page book describes Sarkozy as an intense man "who never stops stirring up life."

While the book offers no startling revelations, it is Reza's behind-the-scenes accounts of Sarkozy's quest for the presidency that are bound to draw readers.

One excerpt of the book describes Sarkozy watching his predecessor Jacques Chirac's final address on television, showing little emotion and commenting on how pale he looked.

At the end of Chirac's remarks, Sarkozy declares: "It was ordinary and outdated. No vision. In his place I would have said 'I served you for twelve years, now a new era begins'...".

A few minutes later howerver, he adds: "I thought he still showed energy, the old lion." 

Sarkozy is known to have had icy relations with Chirac, his one-time political mentor, after he backed a rival candidate in the 1995 elections.

In an interview to the weekly Nouvel Observateur, Reza confided that she was impressed by Sarkozy, saying he had "superior intuition" and "real stature."

"I challenge anyone who has come up close to him not to be impressed," said Reza.

"I wrote a profile of this man and I can even say that I have some affection for him," she said.

But Reza described Sarkozy as having a child-like impatience even though she claimed to have never witnessed an angry outburst by the rightwing leader.

There is little in the book on Sarkozy's mysterious wife Cecilia (Reza said she was not around during the campaign) and few words about Socialist challenger Segolene Royal.

"Is she helping me?" Sarkozy once commented about Royal's gaffes during the campaign. "I'm not sure. I'm not sure that being an idiot is necessarily a handicap in France."

An accomplished playwright, actress and writer, Reza is best known for her play "Art", a comedy about three friends caught in a dispute over their varying appreciation of a modern painting. The play has been translated in over 30 languages.

AFP

Subject: French news

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