L'étiquette (English)



“That was a very special meeting. One day, the people at Elle magazine told me they wanted to set up a meeting between me and someone famous, anyone I liked. They had Yves Saint Laurent in mind, but I said, Abbé Pierre! [a French Catholic priest who devoted his life to helping the homeless]. This picture was taken at that meeting. I was so happy. When I was 13 or 14, he used to drive around the Paris region in his truck, wearing a beret while he collected empty bottles. I don’t know what he did with them, but I remember emptying bottles and putting them out on the sidewalk for him. That day, he showed me where he said mass, on a little table facing the railway tracks. He lived in Ivry-sur-Seine, in front of the Austerlitz Train Station. We spent two hours together. I admired him tremendous­ly because I like generosity, quite simply. He had such strength when he ranted. And, you know, I am a believer. I’ve never had any doubts. I don’t practice much, but it’s part of me. I think having a spiritual life is a universal need, and I couldn’t live without it. My bourgeois family from Versailles was very religious, but I’m a bit different. I’m a left-wing Catholic, and that’s not the same thing at all. I’ve always been on the left; that’s also ingrained in me. I think it was the war in Algeria that ‘radicalize­d’ me. I had friends over there who’d deserted from the Army so they didn’t have to torture anyone. I was 17, and I realized all the evil that had been done by colonizati­on. I’ll be a left-wing Catholic until the end of my days, that won’t ever change.”

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