Monday, November 21, 2005

“Her island, it’s me who will destroy it.”

Mitterand on the couch wasn’t just discussing his anxiety, but was trying desperately to make posthumous history by telling his shrink to tell all:

«“Excuse me,” Mitterrand begins, apologising for his late arrival. “I had a difference of opinion to settle with the Iron Lady. What an impossible woman, that Thatcher! “With her four nuclear submarines on mission in the southern Atlantic, she threatens to launch the atomic weapon against Argentina — unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentinians. Margaret has given me very precise instructions on the telephone.”

Magoudi never fathoms Mitterrand out enough to draw up a psychological profile. But in notes taken after their meetings, he writes of his patient’s near-mystical enjoyment of power, his paranoid tendencies, his “massive anxiety” and the way morbid images frequently crop up in his speech.

“In war, when there is one death, it is already a lot,” the president said as their therapy session got under way three days later. “But, after all, these soldiers were professionals. If they were serving on this destroyer, it’s because they were volunteers. When you do this kind of job, you don’t invoke the gods every time there is a small hitch.”

“I will have the last word,” Mitterrand replied. “Her island, it’s me who will destroy it. Her island, I swear that soon it will no longer be one. I will take my revenge. I will tie England to Europe, despite its natural tendency for isolation. How? I will build a tunnel under the Channel. Yes. I will succeed where Napoleon III failed.”»
With thanks to Stavn

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