Letter: Andre Malraux was De Gaulle's man

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have spotted a curious mistake in Julian Nundy's report from Paris on the 'chase' for Jack Lang's job as France's Culture Minister (10 March). There was, of course, a novelist Andre Maurois (1885-1967) - not Mauroy (that was Pierre Mauroy, the former prime minister in President Mitterrand's first cabinet in 1981) - but he was never General de Gaulle's minister.

The man de Gaulle appointed twice as a minister (in 1945 as Minister of Information and in 1960 as Minister of Cultural Affairs) was Andre Malraux (1901- 1976), author of such important inter-war novels as La Condition Humaine and L'Espoir, and after the war of controversial but reputed works on aesthetics and art history such as Le Musee Imaginaire. These intellectual achievements qualified Malraux for the job in a manner which hardly applies to Mr Lang, and even less so to any of his 'chasers'.

Yours faithfully,

MANUEL V. CABRAL

Professor of Portuguese History

School of Humanities

King's College

London, WC2

10 March

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