The 5th Republic has given presidents of the Republic the extraordinary power to be the voice of the nation. This book goes straight to the heart of the matter: the performative speech whereby words may institute or destitute, appoint, summon, declare, recount or reduce to silence.
From 1958 to 2007, the Elysian speech was to change from the linguistic viewpoint by changing its political purpose under the dual influence of the media, who transmit the message, and the presidential institution which is its bearer. The manner takes precedence over the content, what is said is obliterated by the saying. The speech defeats the statement and logos gives way to ethos. The 'I' of the president is substituted for 'the people' and his ‘me’ for ‘France’. The presidential figure supplants the idea... and thought becomes communication.
Based on a corpus of more than 500 presidential speeches and the logometric method – of which it presents a vulgarization – this book combines scientific description and interpretation of the vocabulary and the rhetoric of De Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard, Mitterrand and Chirac.