Jean Daniel, a fabulous destiny

Where does that melancholy glow come from in his eyes? Is it because he was all his life a writer lost in journalism and he carries this regret like a wound? Buried under the honors, the prizes, the medals, Jean Daniel, died Wednesday February 19, crossed the XXth century by rubbing shoulders with the greatest, Kennedy, Castro, de Gaulle, Ben Bella, Mendès France, Mitterrand, Rocard, and so many He whispered in the ears of presidents, in the frantic cavalcade of history, but he never really got out of this original ambiguity, that of the impossible choice.Writer or journalist? How many times has he repeated around him that he had never decided the question? What if that doubt was his main strength? And also the explanation of the success of a title already fifty years old.If the famous DNA, the singularity, of the newspaper which he founded, in 1964, “the Nouvel Observateur du monde”, had its source in the history of its inventor and inspirer? That of a kid from the Mediterranean who fell very little into the life-saving bath of literature.

Everything, in his early youth, led him to writing: first his sister, Mathilde, eldest of a family of eleven children, who played with him, the youngest child, the role of second mother.keen on French novels of the 19th century, she introduced him very early to Stendhal, as one entered into religion.The teenager from Blida, an Algerian town in the Mitidja plain, son of a Jewish trader, Jules Messaoud Bensaïd, a colossus with a big heart, who, before becoming a flour miller, was a porter in a small town company, fell in love with this master of “romantic realism.” While his father negotiated cereals and flour in the shop on the ground floor.-footed from the family house, the “little one” devours the master's work, whose philosophy of life he espouses, that of the “hunt for happiness”, but also the elegance of the pen, tight writing, precise, sometimes precious .

Posted Date: 2020-10-02

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