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The viral era, by Ingrid Astier

Faced with the coronavirus and the containment it causes, Gallimard publishes one or two " Crisis leaflets "signed by the great feathers of the House such as Erik Orsenna, Sylvain Tesson, Cynthia Fleury, Régis Debray or Danièle Sallenave, in order to reflect on the questions raised by the epidemic and to keep the link with the reader. 30 titles have been published to date. UP' has chosen to offer you each day an extract from a selected text and author.


Wretched country in need of heroes. "This sentence is by Bertolt Brecht, in The Life of Galileo. For a long time I was obsessed with it. Like the bleakness at the end of the wave, it is agitated by a thousand reflections, and slips from the hands to return to the current - and to its freedom. I can observe it in all directions, but it retains its mystery and its shimmer.
In fact, Galileo takes up Andrea, his assistant, who has just said: "Woe to the country that has no heroes! »
Ever since the coronavirus crisis, I can't stop thinking about it. Every crisis needs a hero - and a scapegoat. Crystallization, atonement, demonization.

A hero must rally, embody a common ideal, reunite, comfort. Our society, more able to divide, prefers, today, collective heroes. Anonymous, they are less desirable. They will therefore (rightly) be the white coats - as were the firefighters during the September 11th attacks. Or miracle products (chloroquine), which give a scientific name to hope.

But the hero is born from the blaze. His armor is soaked in the cold steel of helplessness.

It is also subject to versatility. Today's hero may be tomorrow's ostracized. So the police, after the Bataclan... In all, we are asked to take a stand, to judge, to say yes or no, for or against, in defiance of nuance. While the urgency is to act, to find solutions, not to condemn or praise. Our era is being filled not with emptiness but with noise. Everyone carries within him a cacophony.

Saluting the efforts of our healthcare teams at 8 p.m. is certainly commendable, and a sign of indispensable solidarity. Let's go further. Let's not stop on the way.

READ MORE

Ingrid AstierCrisis leaflets" No. 30, Gallimard, 2 April 2020, 8 pm.

See all catalogue " Crisis leaflets " Gallimard

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