Tuesday, February 09, 2010

French intellectual caught quoting fake philosopher

French intellectual caught quoting fake philosopher
Tue Feb 9, 5:30 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – Leading French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy has been caught red-faced for praising the work of a philosopher who, it turns out, was invented as a joke by a journalist from a satirical daily.

In his latest book "De la guerre en philosophie" (Making war in philosophy), Levy quoted Jean-Baptiste Botul, an expert on German philosopher Immanuel Kant created by journalist Frederic Pages.

Levy acknowledged late Monday that he had often quoted Botul's work "The sex life of Immanuel Kant" during many public appearances and in the pages of his latest book.

"As it turns out, it was a hoax," admitted the author in an opinion piece posted on the website of his magazine La Regle du Jeu.

"It was a truly brilliant and very believable hoax from the mind of a Canard Enchaine journalist, who remains a good philosopher all the same," said Levy, known by his initials BHL.

"So I was caught, as were the critics who reviewed the book when it came out," he wrote. "The only thing left to say, with no hard feelings, is kudos to the artist!"

Levy's gaffe made the rounds of Internet websites with many commentators saying that France's leading expert on modern thought -- and a regular on TV chat shows and celebrity magazines -- had thoroughly embarrassed himself.

Levy last stirred controversy when he published an account in 2008 of his visit to Georgia during the war with Russia that French newspapers said contained excerpts that were made up.


Post a Comment

<< Home