Serge Hefez, a practicing psychiatrist, has identified a new mental illness among the French: obsessive Sarkosis, an unhealthy fascination with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
“As I listened to my patients during consultations, many of them mentioned Sarkozy by name,” Dr. Hefez said. “He’s penetrated some of their deepest fantasies. I noticed all this passion in people speaking of him, and I thought there is something particular about this man — he’s like a reflection of us in the mirror.”
The French project themselves onto Mr. Sarkozy, too, Dr. Hefez said.
“He’s the incarnation of the postmodern man, obsessed with himself, turned toward pleasure, autonomous and narcissistic,” the psychiatrist said. “And he exhibits his joys and sorrows, all his private life, his sentimental doubts and pleasures. He represents the individualism of the society to the extreme, that it’s the individual who counts, not the society.”
A year after taking office, Mr. Sarkozy can appear to be everywhere, at least in the world of television and print. The daily newspaper Le Figaro counts at least 100 books devoted to the French president, his life and loves, with more than a million sold, for $25.1 million.
-A Passion for (and Against) Sarkozy