Thursday, February 21, 2008

Choses Wues

Here we have Félix Wu, who pronounces his name "vu," just as Charlus insisted on pronouncing Swann's name "svann," except that for Charlus the point was to insist on a tinge of foreignness, whereas in the case of Wu, one suspects, the point is to connote full assimilation. M. Wu is heading a "diversity" list in the 12th Arrondissement. He describes himself as neither right nor left and says he dislikes the immigration quotas of the one and the 35-hr week of the other (he is a restaurateur, and the short week is impossible, he says). Nevertheless, he has been approached by the UMP. In any case, he does not see himself as a "communitarist" candidate but rather as a pure republican, representing the general interest, even if he appeals to voters as a candidate in sympathy with their particular interests as issus de l'immigration. He distinguishes himself and his co-listiers from "communitarist" associations because these pursue only the "well-defined interests" of a community, whereas he aspires to the broader view expected of a republican legislator. He says that he is the first "Asian" candidate to head a list in Paris and that some people are "shocked" by this.

6 comments:

Scott Guye said...

Is German pronunciation the latest rage now?

Unknown said...

This is a test of a google account

Unknown said...

Ron Tiersky said:

The case of Felix Wu strikes me as a sign of evolving French pluralism, important as local politics and important as a public conversation about integration, multiculturalism, assimilation. It's a concrete situation at the local, grass roots level, and thus for once the issue of "integration" is not about Muslims, Islam or the not-at-all monolithic "Muslim community." To the extent the case of Felix Wu is representative of a trend, it could be that the abstract xenophobic demagogy of the National Front will continue to lose traction in French public opinion. (An Asian-French candidate in a future presidential election would be a very positive development.)

Re the pronunciation of M. Wu's name: Chinese often pronounce W as V, as in the name of a Chinese friend, Wen Da, which is also pronounced Ven Da. I don't know why M. Wu would prefer the V pronunciation.

Unknown said...

Ron,
Yes, I agree completely that this is a positive development. Thanks for the detail on pronunciation as well.

Unknown said...

Felix Wu is actually running in the 13th, not the 12th.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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