In Jean-Michel Blanquer’s office

As he was preparing to distribute La Fontaine’s “The Fables” to 800,000 CM2 children, he opened the doors to his apartment at the Ministry of National Education filled with memories.

1. The animals of La Fontaine. “These crow and fox bookends were in my house when I was a kid. They have a Proust madeleine effect on me. Since my arrival in this ministry, one publishes each year a selection of “Fables” distributed to the pupils of CM2. In 2021, the beautiful illustrations are signed Rébecca Dautremer. La Fontaine has magnified the French language and I am happy to contribute to a renewal which also owes to people like Fabrice Luchini and Erik Orsenna. I hope I have created a custom that will continue. ”

2. Colombian Chiva. “Colombia is my second homeland. There are lots of buses of this kind. I was there cooperating with the French Institute of Andean Studies in Bogota from 1989 to 1991, and from 1998 to 2004, I directed the Institute of Higher Studies of Latin America. I have written several books on this country, including “Que sais-je?” (ed. PUF) which is dedicated to him, which I had finished before being minister and which was published in the summer of 2017. “

3. Tintin fetish. “This arumbaya fetish is taken from Hergé’s“ Broken Ear ”. I grew up with Tintin. I have read all the albums dozens of times. This one marked me. It is perhaps even at the origin of my interest in Latin America and has been very well commented by the philosopher Michel Serres to explain fetishism and other concepts. Tintin can be read in the second or even the third degree! “

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“I prefer resistant writers like Camus than givers of lessons like Sartre”

4. Albert Camus. “I am very attached to vocational high schools and this steel stencil was given to me during a visit to an establishment. Albert Camus is one of my favorite authors. I discovered it very early, around 11 years old. My father was his neighbor in the Belcourt district of Algiers and my grandmother referred to him as “Catherine’s son”. I like the work and the character. His meteoric destiny. I prefer resistant writers like Camus than lesson-givers like Sartre. There is a link between ideas and practice, when you engage your skin, you are in a form of coherence. ”

5. Pirogue. “I almost left my skin in a canoe like this. It was my official boat when I was rector in Guyana. I used it on the Maroni, a very wide river, to visit isolated schools. One day in 2006, when the water was at an exceptional height and the current very strong, we hit a rock. The hull shattered before disappearing. I was dragged down by a whirlwind. Then I drifted. I smelled the pungent odor of death. But I ended up being taken in by two Surinamese rastas who played reggae in their canoe. All my traveling companions were saved. ”

To read :Blanquer’s dumpling

6. Football shirt. “I have always played football. I like to play this sport – as soon as I can but at the moment not very often – and watch it. This France team jersey was given to me by Noël Le Graët before the 2018 World Cup, which is why there is only one star. “

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