Saturday, September 16, 2006

Michael Ledeen's Tribute to Oriana Fallaci

Michael Ledeen writes of Oriana Fallaci, a friend of his, at the Corner:
Like all creative persons, she was a bundle of contradictions, for those inner turmoils are what drive such people to create. She reveled in her non-conformism and her independence, but she was also profoundly traditional, both privately and intellectually. She could not bear to live in Italy. She was repulsed by what had happened to her Florence, but she was also intensely Florentine and I never doubted that she would find the strength to go there to die. She loved to make trouble, even for her family and closest friends, but her thoughtfulness and humanity required her to be close to the family cemetery when she left. She didn't want to be a burden.

She had enormous respect for the great thinkers and leaders who preceded her, and she knew what she was talking about. She was a cultured woman, she had studied hard and long, and she was definitely not one of those modern gabbers who simply tell you what they "feel." She was a terrific cook, and proud of it. She was very feminine, and she was offended by her physical decay, much more than by the approach of death.

Finally, she was a challenging friend, she insisted that friendship had to be total. No deviation was tolerated, no 'but' was permitted to interrupt total support. Few of us could meet that standard, but all of us were delighted and honored to have been her friends.


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