Bernard-Henry Lévy, AKA BHL, is one of few French intellectuals who is somewhat known in the US. He is also considered by many many people in Europe as a pretentious and superficial ass.
In 1996 he released an epic film called Le Jour et La Nuit starring Alain Delon and BHL's wife Arielle Dombasle which was supposedly the high point of high points of all the Berlin Film Festivals ever held, so much did people enjoy laughing at it. (If you read French click here for one of the best savage film reviews ever written
- sample: "La rigolade découle avant tout d'une exceptionnelle prétention. Se dégage du film une ambiance très particulière où, à chaque instant, le spectateur accablé se demande ce que l'auteur a bien voulu raconter ou signifier : ce qui amène un résultat du type double effet Kiss-Cool, permettant de rire deux fois de chaque scène, à la vision puis au décryptage. Une absence totale de rythme et de sens du récit achèvent de massacrer toutes les prétentions au souffle créatif d'un Bernard-Henri Lévy transi d'admiration pour son propre talent"). BHL, in his typical manner, had done a pre-release hype campaign that had attracted a lot of attention so the ridicule was hard to avoid. But it seems that he cornered almost all of the prints so that the movie would disappear.
To everyone's schadenfreude pleasure, he has once again laid a big one. He just released two books, one a 1344 page doorstop titled Pièces d'identité, and the other a slim volume titled De la guerre en philosophie. The latter is the one where he sticks his foot in it. To make a point in his critique of Kant, he references a series of lectures given in Paraguay to a group of neo-Kantians by the French philosopher Jean-Baptiste Botul. The only problem is that Botul doesn't exist, he is the creation of distinguished French philosopher and satirist Frédéric Pagès (who wrote the amusing "Vie sexuelle d' Emmanuel Kant" as Jean-Baptiste Botul in which this fictitious Paraguayan group is found).
By not bothering with the slightest bit of fact checking, BHL has once again proved his detractors right.