Charles Napoleon, a great-great-grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte (his great-grandfather changed his familys last name from Bonaparte to Napoleon) is second deputy mayor of Ajaccio, in Corsica. This short two-page story from the NY Times is worth a look, as a sort of curioso, but not without some significance, i.e., it may help explain something of Messr de Villepins goofy ideas (see David A. Bell, "The Napoleon Complex: Dominique de Villepins idea of glory," The New Republic, April 14, 2003). Mr. Napoleon says "One cannot escape ones history," (nor can a nation, I would add) and he is proud that his name is known all over the world. So what, so is the name of Attila the Hun, or Ghengis Khan! This left-wing politician came to Corsica from Paris, where he was born because he is "coming back to something logical, which is the presence of the Bonaparte family in Corsica." He says this about making hotel reservations: "When Ive called [a hotel] and said Im `Mr. Napoleon, Ive been told, `Sure, and Im the pope, he said. Thats my heritage. What can I do?"
He said his life is easier in the U.S. because "Americans dont know much about history. I have to spell my name in the U.S." Needless to say, I think this reflects well on us.
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