HomeEntertainmentLaurent Gaudet.

Laurent Gaudet.

How to tell the horror, the catastrophic? In Terraces, his new story, the writer examines the fear caused by the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. A heartbreaking choral piece as much as a tribute to the Parisians.

A mother leaves her child with her father for a few hours to go to a dance, two sisters are going to celebrate their birthday, two lovers are going to meet again… And right there, in the heart of relief, horror will strike. Back Terraces, which will also be directed by Denis Marlon at the Théâtre de la Colline * in Paris, Laurent Gaudet seeks to recreate the November 2015 attacks in the capital from the inside; a night of pain and atrocities, but also of heroism. the author of Salina and: Dog 51 works of memory in a tragic story combined with a polyphonic song.

Madame Figaro. “History will tell the story of facts, but who will tell the story of souls?” the exercise of Terraces she is his slogan the reason for its existence?
Laurent Godet.– It took me a while to find the right place to talk about the attacks. The work of historians has begun, the work of journalists is done and done well. The world And Parisian give portraits to each victim. How can we cope with the attacks as a writer who wants to follow the chronological developments of that night? The last thoughts of people before death, the sensations of the crowd, the immediate victims or witnesses, what we went through, collectively, appeared to me as the only possible space. There were heroic actions, but there were also heroic thoughts because they managed to get rid of the horror. A woman who will not survive, but who manages to wipe away the blood and screams around her in the last seconds to summon the landscape she loves, the child she will orphan, seems to me heroic because she succeeds; remain dignified, and only the history of souls can account for it.

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Have you been wanting to write about attacks for a long time?
I devoted several pages to it in the first version Paris, A Thousand Lives (at Actes Sud in 2020, then at Babel in 2023, editor’s note); but they wrecked everything; it was too intense, beyond the tone of the text, and I cut out these passages, thinking that I would come back to them one day. I think you need some time distance. This is part of a gesture of respect and remembrance Terraces, than to return to the attacks ten years later. There will be a theatrical version on the Hill, and I was surprised to see in discussions with the young actors how much the 2015 attacks have become a historical event. For me the event remains recent and I run into young people who remember seeing it on TV with their parents…

When did this polyphonic structure appear to you?
Right off the bat. I often used the choral form, I like the multiplicity of perspectives. I wanted to open Terraces as much as possible. I needed a nurse, a doctor, a member of the intervention commando, a policeman, a fireman, bystanders… The book includes characters affected by the incident and invited by the incident, who have: the duty to go there, and that I wanted, like others, to understand through sensitivity and emotion the inner crack beneath the uniform. Not that they were prepared to intervene in emergency scenes, they weren’t stunned and traumatized either. Getting into functions interested me, as did the question of “we”. when can we say that there is an experience of “we”? The epidemic, certain demonstrations and that night also, it seems to me, testify to that. We all shared the same fears, the same reflexes, we all used the same expressions. We are the chorus, and the chorus is also tragedy…

There are several references to chance and fate, as in a Greek tragedy, and the characters’ speeches are monologues. Aren’t you as much a novelist as a playwright?
I think my work sits at a crossroads. I have written many theatrical monologues, therefore, with the problem of storytelling on the stage, and my novels are crossed with orality, as we can see in the study of legends and myths. Apart from the episode Paris, a thousand livesthere is also the origin Terraces The desire to work with Dennis Marlowe again. I knew that the text would be staged, although not a play, but a choral story. some pages we know we’re with a nurse or a police officer, others we don’t know who’s talking, and that’s what I loved. Naturally, the performance requires the words to be “attributed” to a specific person. we have seventeen actors, and it was necessary to designate the one who would embody this or that voice, a device that itself gives an interpretation of the text.

My novels are crossed with orality

Laurent Goud

Where did the title come from?
Among the “terraces” there is “terrassé”, which sums up the journey of the night… At first, I did not want to evoke the Bataclan so much as the lifestyle that was struck that day, which symbolized a fact: drinking on a cafe terrace, which we’ve all done, although not everyone necessarily goes to a concert. It seemed more universal to me. The attacks of Moscow and Israel brought me back. the attack happened at a rave party and what is the chance that we escaped or not? These three events have different geopolitical significance, but for men and women they are the same. the basis of the fun is dancing, drinking, etc., which both hit. And listening to this text in the theater is sure to be even more giddy.

Can we say that the poetic meets the political in your work?
I am a committed author in that I feed my writing with current events and what is happening in the world. In such books Salina Or Death of King Tsongorit is up to the reader to make bridges with recent political history once in Shun 51, Terraceor Eldorado, I am the one who confirmed them. There is always something to commemorate. I want what happened in Paris in 2015 to become part of my personal pantheon, like the issue of migrants or war. I hope that the emotion felt by the reader is another stone placed at the foot of the pile… We, Europe. Banquet of the peoples, I tried to breathe a little passion into the dry topic. Back Terraces, it was a matter of constructing a political desire through this “we”, which was also a song. Because I believe that for me it is celebration that interweaves poetry and politics. Beyond the severity, the horror, the tragedy, my texts often have a tone of humanity, brotherhood, light, transference, or “healthy anger” as the case may be. Celebrate, then sing.

TerracesBy Laurent Gaudet, Éditions Actes Sud, 144 p., €14.50.

* terraces, Directed by Denis Marlowe, May 15-June 9, Théâtre de la Colle, Paris. colline.fr:

Source: Le Figaro

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