A "freedom": far from the constraints of weighed political discourse, novel writing offers Bruno Le Maire the necessary unbridledness in a public life where he still has "things to accomplish", explains the great French treasurer to AFP in presenting his latest book.
Sitting on the edge of a large gray sofa in his Parisian apartment, Bruno Le Maire suspends, for the time of an interview with AFP, his functions as Minister of Economy and Finance to speak of a "fascination" for the pianist Vladimir Horowitz who gave birth to his second novel, "American Fugue" (Gallimard editions), released Thursday in bookstores after five years of writing.
"Fascination" for the exceptional destiny of this American musician of Russian origin, both sensitive and tough, set to music through the life of two brothers from an exiled family from Central Europe, Franz and Oskar Wertheimer, with canvas background Cuba and the tragedies of the twentieth century.
A modern and enarque graduate of letters, familiar with the mysteries of power for years, could Bruno Le Maire do politics without taking up the pen?
"Impossible. I would have a feeling of confinement and shrinkage," he says. "If there were only politics without the freedom that literary and romantic creation gives, politics would not be enough," explains the 54-year-old minister, gray hair and steel blue eyes.
"Politics is a necessary commitment but there is nothing worse than when politics devours everything", adds the one who has already signed a dozen books - especially around politics.
And: "You can have a life next to politics and a life outside of politics."
No question, however, of putting the latter in parentheses: "I certainly think I still have things to accomplish in politics", he maintains, stressing that the writer and the politician "complete" each other.
Does this dual profile contribute to the construction of a presidential image in the tradition of literary presidents, like a De Gaulle or a Mitterrand? It is an affirmation that refuses to endorse the one to whom we regularly lend Elysian ambitions.
"There is no part of calculation in my writing. There is a necessity. The best proof is that I started writing before doing politics," he says. “There is only the will to be totally yourself in it.”
"American Fugue" is a hymn to classical music - passion of Bruno Le Maire who would have liked to continue learning the piano - after a first novel devoted to the conductor Carlos Kleiber.
"I only write when I'm obsessed with a theme and it's necessary. I don't get up in the morning telling myself that I have to write at all costs," he explains.
Beyond its musicality, the title also translates themes such as travel, escape, the fragility of beings. All bathed in sensuality, that of Cuba in the 1940s and scenes of assumed eroticism.
"Sensuality is part of life, sexual life is part of life", smiles Bruno Le Maire, who claims here an unbridled writing, contrary to the constrained style of his political works. "There, I was able to totally free my writing."
"I have a function and a responsibility which are based mainly on the words we choose (...) Each nuance can seduce, convince or hurt. You have to be very careful about the meaning of the words you use as a public figure. “, he continues.
"When you have the right words, you strengthen the unity of the nation. When you have clumsy or hurtful words, you divide the nation."
The "right words", the government has found them, says the Minister of the Economy. In a very chaotic social climate, he denounces "the immoderate cult of controversy (...), conflict, confrontation" and the "noise of pans", which according to him prevent any dialogue. He opposes them to democratic "reason".
After getting up at 5:00 a.m. to write for at least two hours, Bruno Le Maire wants to take the time to sigh, "because this one required considerable energy from me (...) and you have to let it rest his imagination".
04/27/2023 19:02:14 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP