Emmanuel Carrère "V13" on the trial of the Paris terrorist attacks - culture


Nils Minkmar

It sits proudly in piles next to the checkout in Parisian bookshops because it's already the book of the fall and so much more. Under the title "V13", reminiscent of a science fiction novel, Emmanuel Carrère presents a volume that is modestly identified as a "chronicle of the courts", but contains everything that a book can give a battered country. It is his account of the ten months he spent as an observer at the great terror trial of the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris, and precisely the book that was missing the whole time - without anyone knowing that it was missing. The title is short for Vendredi13 because the attacks happened on an ill-fated Friday. Even the daringly dimensioned proceedings changed the country: 14 defendants, 1800 joint plaintiffs, 350 lawyers, from September 2021 to June 2022 the security measures blocked traffic in downtown Paris. But Carrère adds that crucial dimension, the cultural interpretation, the moral of the story.

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