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Academic & writer

Paris: Walking in the Void Paris: Walking in the Void

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17 Décembre 2015

Sirens and police cars crisscrossing our streets -shootings, radio, TV, messages from friends, from children, from all over the world -confusion. Within a few minutes, we are in a war zone -sirens and police cars crisscrossing down there. The death toll keeps rising, striking the younger ones.

BataclanStade de FranceEagles of death metal

Too many sirens, too many police cars, too many words. Words non-stop clashing in my head since Friday evening -how did it become so chaotic so fast? Words accumulate -scattered words, randomly bombarded into each other. They’ve been stuck in my ear more than three days now. How to avoid them? Where to escape?

BataclanStade de FranceEagles of death metal

kalachnikov, terroristesleur arsenal de guerre

I often wondered why some musical tunes, even if heard briefly, wander endlessly in my head -such is the case for Schubert’s Trout or Gounod’s Carmen. So I desperately turn off the radio as soon as they pop up, in order to avoid falling prey. Too many sirens, too many police cars, too many words.

BataclanStade de FranceEagles of death metal

kalachnikov, terroristes, leur arsenal de guerre

Même pas peurnos valeursdestruction des valeurs

Last night’s issue of Le Monde was long, too long -48 pages. How to avoid it? How to read it all? No wonder, we all did sleep poorly. Marc’s dream, waking up in Paris : « The school is on fire, threatening to expand. I seize a fire brand, I throw it far away and I do stop the flames. » As for my own one: « In Paris, US tourists wondering what to do, I translate messages, explaining what happens. » What do the dreams tell us? What goes on in our brains?

BataclanStade de FranceEagles of death metal

kalachnikov, terroristes, leur arsenal de guerre

Même pas peurnos valeursdestruction des valeurs

c’est la guerrec’est la guerrec’est l’état islamique

How to keep working ? How to keep going? “Après les attentats, libérer la parole”, most psychiatrists claim, according to all. For direct survivors, to speak is the best way, the only way to go.

BataclanStade de FranceEagles of death metal

kalachnikov, terroristes, leur arsenal de guerre

Même pas peurnos valeursdestruction des valeurs

c’est la guerrec’est la guerrec’est l’état islamique

Congrès de Versailles, Allons-z-enfants…

For us all, at large, one single thing to do, to slowly start again, step by step, rebuilding a micro-universe –the one so finely described by Erving Goffman in Asylums. To start thinking again, turn those orphan and scattered and random words back into meaningful elements, into sentences, into projects, into an intellectual fabric of sort.

BataclanStade de FranceEagles of death metal

kalachnikov, terroristes, leur arsenal de guerre

Même pas peurnos valeursdestruction des valeurs

c’est la guerrec’est la guerrec’est l’état islamique

Congrès de Versailles, Allons-z-enfants…

état d’exception, état d’urgence

«The enemy is incredibly strong and determined, we’re totally unequipped and we’ve not seen anything yet », judge Marc Trévidic quietly asserts. Too many sirens, too many police cars, too many words. I’m walking in the void, taking care of each step. I’m walking in the void and longing for silence. I’m walking in the void, thinking of Burundi, thinking of our friends. BataclanStade de FranceEagels of death metal