Emmanuel Carrère and his insights from the trial over the Paris attacks

Emmanuel Carrère (writer, Prince of Asturias Award) is narrating for L’Observateur the trials for the jihadist attacks occurred in Paris in 2015, regarded for the collective memory as the Bataclan attacks. EL PAIS publishes its translation almost synchronously here. Attention! It is not a journalistic chronicle as for this task, Carrère acknowledges L´Obs has appointed two purebred reporters, who have joined a legion of other media whose review will be punctual, immediate. For this reason, Carrère recognizes he will be late, as his is going to be a story.  His focus is that of a writer, though he will be attending, together with the others, the entire trial. Great trials have had distinguished rapporteurs whose approach to the facts far exceed the judicial chronicle. To point out a few: the script for the TV series that would later come to become the film “Winners and Vanquished” regarding the Nüremberg trials; or philosopher Hannah Arendt with her extraordinary “Eichmann in Jerusalem.”  A writer’s approach is different, of course. It shows from the declaration of intent: when asked about the reasons for his day-to-day exposure for the most probably nine months to the bureaucratic tedium that is normally a trial (which has fewer memorable moments than people think), Carrère first points out the interest in the administration of justice, of course, but adds: “I am also interested in religions, their pathological mutations.” And finishes “When it comes to God, where does the madness begin?” Here is a question bigger than the judgment itself, detected by Carrère, in the same way that Arendt detected the question of the banality of evil in the trial of Adolf Eichmannn: can absolute evil be embodied in the boring, bureaucratic behaviour of a common man, not to say mediocre like Eichmann?  Anglo-Saxon political correctness has imposed calling victims “survivors”, ostensibly because the label victimises them twice. It is a modesty only applicable to living victims, of course; the others will definitely remain “victims.” The asinine has not yet been imposed in France or in our country. So, Carrère entertains himself in distinguishing between the victims (were not we all to different degrees?) and the victims/witnesses, who will be the ones appearing in the trial, either as a party or as witnesses/prosecution. As for the criminals, there is the idiot comparable to Eichmann and the ruthless bug, more disturbingly intelligent, passing through the intermediate zones of the atrocious ordinary, the ordinarily atrocious. But insanity, indoctrination (evil itself?) is common. Carrère’s chronicles are, of course, very well written: his style is steely, but light: he does not delay in disquisitions, but goes further. And deep. And he continues to be scathing, to bring things down to earth, as when he resembles the story of “Flo Kitty”, administrator of the website “Life for Paris” association and a victim unifier, only that she simply was not there. there. But whose selflessness and dedication was thanked by the true victims, even though the beans has already been spilled. Alongside, of course, appear the great social dilemmas of our time: protecting the sensitivity of the victims, the court did not allow three hours of audio to be played inside the concert hall: the parties had to be content with a police transcript which, when the moment came, had to impose the voices of the murderers. Protection censorship is imposed, it seems, even where any evidence that brings us closer to the facts should be relevant. And do not forget the emotion: Carrère, hardly used to it, now cries twice a day. Anyway: as I write this review, Carrère is going through Chapter 6 of what promises to be a long journey to a strange place, that we all would like to be distant, but everything indicates that he is close to us all. If not inside. 

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