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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Saturday, September 25, 2004

    What the French and Ohioans have in common 

    The Iraq war has strained U.S. relations with France. Americans (not Ohioans, we hope) call the French ingrates because the United States helped to give the French back their country during World War II and now the French balk at supporting the war in Iraq as a part of a larger war on terrorism.

    If there are Ohioans who are upset with the French, Ohioblog is not among them.

    In fact, Ohioblog was reminded upon reading about the death of author Francoise Sagan of why the French should be admired, especially by those of us
    who live in Ohio, not only a swing state in the presidential election but also the state with more excellent libraries than any other. (Unfortunately, Ohio's libraries rank No. 1 in the nation because of their longtime foundation and the willingness of communities such as Akron, North Canton, Twinsburg, Stow, Orrville and many others to sustain them, not on the wisdom and foresight of the Ohio legislature.)

    What struck Ohioblog in the obituaries of Sagan, best known for her novel Bonjour Tristesse, were not only the kind words about Sagan's life but also who had stepped up to say these things.

    In a statement, President Jacques Chirac said: ``With her death, France loses one of its most brilliant and most sensitive writers - an eminent figure of our literary life.''

    Even better was Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who called Sagan ``a smile - one that was melancholy, enigmatic, distant yet joyous.''

    When did an American president or member of his cabinet last comment on the nation's loss upon death of a renown author, much less offer us something as insightful and eloquent as Raffarin's assessment of Sagan? Sounds as if Raffarin actually had read Sagan's work. It would be nice to have a president like that.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 9:36 AM

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