Wit and Insight Aplenty: Daniel Boeri’s New Book Delights
Monegasque for generations, national advisor, president of the Culture and Heritage Commission, author of a number of books on economics, Daniel Boéri is treating us to a new book featuring cameo passages from his adult life over the past 53 years.
Enjoy reading the wit and unique experiences of one of the most prominent figures in the Principality. During the past 10 years he has also directed the L’Entrepôt gallery in the Condamine area and organized a grand prix recognizing young designers. Friend of artists and passionate collector, he lives among sculptures, paintings and drawings.
The new book, La 53e des anecdotes naturelles (éditions RIC) is full of personal anecdotes. Eclectic and occasionally just a touch mischievous, Daniel Boéri is comfortable challenging followers of the beaten track whether he is discussing economics or human relationships such as “polyamory”.
He was educated in Paris (HEC and Sociology) where he taught for several years and became an expert in the development of organizations devoting his first book to it: “The New Manual Labour. Multiplication of tasks and autonomous groups”(Le nouveau travail manuel: Enrichissement des tâches et groupes autonomes). He describes himself as a disciple of the same movement as Charlie Chaplin. In his film “Modern Times” he denounces repetitive and dehumanizing tasks. Lines from the poet René Char resonate with him, such as “They wanted arms. They got men”. Just as does the philosophy that a man may flourish in his work. Back in 1983, in his book he was already prescient about teleworking.
“The 53rd of Natural Anecdotes” is referring to the 50 years of Daniel’s professional life and the 3 years it took to write the book. Imagine how many stories he had to tell! Each chapter is based on a quote. A reader can thus spot something of interest by simply eyeballing these nuggets of wisdom. We partly owe it to the health crisis that he had the opportunity to write these 400 pages.
Yet again, in front of most of the world, in February 2020 this author was in Rio and bought some masks. Landing in Paris on March 7th, everybody looked at him as if he were from another planet — as almost no-one was wearing masks back then.
Within a week by March 12, he was self-isolating with meals delivered to his home. Hardly ever going out the book was at the front of his mind day in day out – and almost nothing else. For him it was an incredibly productive time and you can read more about that in Chapter 4 which is entitled “The Covid Journal”.
Fortunately for the Principality Daniel Boeri does not shy away from politics bringing his ideas front and centre and studying and finding ways to carry them out. Again citing his favourite René Char: “Follow your dreams, they know the way…” Which means that as President of the Culture and Heritage commission, he influences a activity that accounts for almost 5% of Monaco’s state budget – a considerable amount. And he did his part to make especially sure that the pandemic did not defeat Monaco’s thriving culture. On the contrary the shows are on; and museums remained open.
A free spirit, Daniel Boeri describes the book just published as the last of his children. He professes “polyamory”, a love freed from all constraints and “morals”, implying a contract of fidelity, not that of belonging and he dreams about tomorrow and after tomorrow, never stopping to project himself into the future.
A fascinating read “the 53rd”, sprinkled with anecdotes, allows you to rediscover history and the changes that have occurred over half a century. And as a bonus it provides a succinct analysis of the profound changes that the current crisis of the pandemic has brought about in many areas.