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Seducer or Seduced?


Report from Paris by Darius KADIVAR


Yasmina Reza's Authorized Portrait of Newly Elected President Sarkozy creates Sensation and Controversy in French Media



Yasmina Reza's authorized Portrayal of French President makes
headlines upon release



Internationally Acclaimed Playwright and actress Yasmina Reza has just released her latest book "L'aube le soir ou la nuit" an authorized year long diary on Nicholas Sarkozy, the newly elected French President and his Campaign to Electoral Victory.


Reza shares with Nicholas Sarkozy Hungarian and Jewish Roots. Her father was an Iranian immigrant from Russia and her mother was Hungarian.


She got into the international spotlight with her much acclaimed play entitled ART that was translated in 35 languages and has become a classic in the modern Theatrical Repertoire Worldwide and particularly in France, Great Britain and the US with such performances by Stars like Alec Baldwin ( hired by Sean Connery who bought the Rights for the US) Fabrice Luchini, Pierre Arditi to name a few. Art was also performed in Iran in recent years..


The recent book by Reza is much expected given the lack of a truly accurate an intimate knowledge of Mr. Sarkozy's private persona. Ironically despite the relative negative reputation of the former interior minister, in Former President Jacques Chirac's government (whose comments 'racailles' aka "scums" in reference to troublemakers in the immigrant population triggered nationwide revolts that made world headlines in 2006) Sarkozy was elected with an unprecedented majority that has turned him into the most popular elected President since historical figurehead and iconic Liberator of France: General  Charles De Gaulle ...


A rare glimpse into the future President's Campaign to Victory.
Reza admits to have been seduced by the French President's personality
and stamina but refuses to say whether or not she voted for him
© AP, Le Figaro, nouvelle Observateur


Critics are divided as to the pertinence of this official portrait of the newly elected president but the book is meant to become a best seller upon its recent release in Bookstores nationwide.


Although an internationally acclaimed writer who was to earn such prestigious prizes as the Laurence Olivier Award and The Moliere for her most famous play ART,  Reza's work  is often snubbed by critics as pretentious and "embourgeoisé" aka "Bourgeois tainted" and "elitist". Most die hard fans including great actors on the French and International scene disagree on this assumption and hail her as one of the greatest playwriters of our Times.


The choice of Nicholas Sarkozy as central character to her new "intimate bio" seems an Odd choice for Yasmina Reza better known for her plays depicting depressed and outcast characters that are diametrically opposed to the image of her French-Hungarian compatriot turned President of a country where the gallic cultural heritage has been challenged by a more and more cosmopolitan society.


Yasmina Reza's book nevertheless deserves credit for showing interest in a Presidential Candidate who was far from rallying the French after the Riots that shook the country and divided public opinion as to Sarkozy's true ambitions. Opponents accused the Candidate to be Megalomaniac with an insatiable thirst for power not different from French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to which Sarkozy's authoritarian but also dynamic persona has often been compared.



ART is an international Hit and Reza's most famous play to date.


True or False an assumption, what is clear is that the new Style of the French Presidency is tainted by what the French Press calls "People-isation" of French Politics initiated during the last presidential campaign by both candidates in the final run: Nicholas Sarkozy and unhappy Socialist Candidate Ségolene Royale. For the first time personalities in the public eye such as entertainers, actors and sportsmen openly campaigned for their favorite candidate. Also for the first time in French Political life debate over the private lives of the candidates including their sex lives have been an object of scrutiny in the Press for better and for worse.


Yasmina Reza  was born 1 May 1959 in Paris. She began work as an actress, appearing in several new plays as well as in plays by Moliere and Marivaux. In 1987 she wrote Conversations after a Burial, which won the Moliere Award, the French equivalent of the Laurence Olivier Award or the Tony Award, for Best Author. Following this, she translated Kafka's Metamorphosis for Roman Polanski and was nominated for a Moliere Award for Best Translation. Her second play, Winter Crossing, won the 1990 Moliere Award for Best Fringe Production, and her next play The Unexpected Man, enjoyed successful productions in England, France, Scandinavia, Germany and New York. In 1995, Art premiered in Paris and went on to win the Moliere Award for Best Author. Since then it has been produced world-wide and translated and performed in over 35 languages. The London production received the 1996-97 Laurence Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award. Life X 3 has also been produced in Europe, North America and Australia. Screenwriting credits include See You Tomorrow, starring Jeanne Moreau and directed by Didier Martiny. In September 1997, her first novel, Hammerklavier, was published and a new work of fiction, Une Désolation, was released in 2001.


Interestingly first generation Iranians in recent years have taken interest in French Politics and take part in civil service and local politics. The publication of Yasmina Reza's L'aube le soir ou la nuit   Confirms this tendency and underlines the major drift in the political landscape of France's increasing  cosmopolitan society.



The Acclaimed author and French President share Hungarian-Jewish
and French Roots ©



Authors Notes: 

L'aube le soir ou la nuit   by Yasmina Reza is available in Bookstores and on



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About the Author:
Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant.



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