Thursday, 16 February 2012

"Belle Famille," - by Arthur Dreyfus - Chapter 26

Résumé of chapter 26 - from Frencheuropean

The conference, transmitted by journalists of fourteen different nationalities, is a great success. Donations flood in. By midnight, 300,000 in euros has been promised. Tony takes on to decide how the money will be used: prime time slots on TV being expensive, "he opts for an announcement in the regional and national dailies and a poster on street hoardings." He will also contact graphic artists and advertising agencies.

As planned, Sylviane lodges a complaint against France Television. She calls Laurence to ask her what she should do with the boys as she no longer wishes to take responsibility for them, given the circumstances. In a rather frosty tone of voice, after having consulted how much money was available, Laurence informs her that a local teacher will come and fetch them. The conversation is over, "Madec's mother reckoned that she had never liked Sylviane. That at the first setback, that fat cow had become a stranger to her. Was it possible to be friends with someone who was physically ugly?"

The Minister, for his part, is indignant at the error committed by the journalists. He picks up his phone and two hours later, Antenne 2 receives a notice of reprimand from the CSA for its untruthful reporting.
(CSA = Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel, the president of which is appointed by the government, but which is independent.)

On returning home, he meets with fierce anger from his wife, who reproaches him for his intrusive activities, telling him that because he can "get the CSA to issue a notice of disapproval," he gets to feel manly and powerful.

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