the jury of The prix Femina has appointed Philippe Lançon winner 2018 for his book Flap . Four other authors were in the running: David Diop with soul Brother (Threshold), Gilles Martin-Chauffier for The Age of the suspects, (Grasset), Diane Mazloum with The golden Age (JC Lattès) and Pierre Notte for to Leave the ranks of the assassins (Gallimard). The Femina foreign has been assigned to The Ninth hour Alice Mc Dermott (Quai Voltaire) and the Femina essay to Gaspard of the night by Elisabeth de Fontenay (Stock).
“I just felt anger.” The journalist Philippe Lançon, who told in an interview to the Figaro on may 11, was present on January 7, 2015 at the conference of editors of Charlie Hebdo. He was there when the terrorists entered the room and took twelve lives. He survived, but his jaw was destroyed by the bullets. In his book Flap , he recounts the ordeal of reconstruction long and painful, either physically or mentally. His work was also shortlisted for the prix Renaudot.
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“I’m not a pollster, nor a sociologist nor a politician, and I am more pessimistic”
“A book, it is written all alone, with a challenging fun, and I had enough problems to overcome in order to write mine without worrying of to know how, one day, it would be received, he says, refusing to think about the rewards that his work might receive. I’m not a pollster, nor a sociologist nor a politician, and I am more pessimistic. Today, I will simply say this: this event, crossing and revealing the life of a man who was the victim and who tells in this way, intimate, and without cheating, has touched more readers than I could imagine.”
For Philippe Lançon, Flap has not been his “way to survive”. “Survival has occurred before, in the hospital, the day-to-day operations in rehabilitation sessions, and also of course in the family and with friends. I started to write Flap that when life seemed almost assured”, he says.
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“The critical mind (…) is alive and well”
Philippe Lançon, explains that it wanted to be as honest as possible, at the risk of giving details that may offend his readership. “I simply tell them, as precisely and closely as possible, the attack of which I had been victim with the other, he adds. For example, if I describe the brains of Bernard Maris, this is because it is the first thing I saw opening my eyes, after the departure of the killers. (…) Do not, do not enter into this view and this vision that opened for me the door to the world of the after, it was abandon to write.”
“Not only anger did not enter in the rooms where I was struggling, but I really think that, if she had been there, it would not have been able to add to the hurt that I felt”
The journalist deplores the fact that the attack has made him “a child of 50 years, saturated with anxieties, and images” that he tries “to catch them like fireflies in the night”. But, he has “not experienced anger.” “How they experience vis-à-vis a pair of black legs and a voice almost gentle, said “Allah Akbar” between each shot at point blank range?, he says. Not only the anger was not in the room where I was, but I really think that, if she had been there, she would not have been able to add to the hurt that I felt.”
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Philippe Lançon also refers to his visit to the hospital and the support of which it was the object. “The surgeons have taught me, or reminded of the importance of accuracy, of the decision of the modesty in the face of nature, and that it is necessary to close it when it has nothing certain to say: a very good school, details there. (…) We need a system friendly and efficient, smart and patient with the patient ; we don’t need heroes.”
Despite all the controversy, Philippe Lançon is certain of one thing: “The critical spirit, the sense of the joke, the cartoon, the second level, the insolence towards all kinds of bigots, powers and hypocrites, all of this is alive and well. What is death on 7 January, they are men.”
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