Paris. January 7, 2015, two terrorists attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Philippe Lançon, seriously wounded, was among the survivors.
This intense life experience upends his relationship to the world, to writing, to reading, to love and to friendship. It took him a year before he could return to writing, a year of frequent reconstructive surgeries, to work through his experiences and their aftermath. As he attempts to reconstruct his life on the page, Lançon rereads Proust, Thomas Mann, Kafka, and others in search of guidance and healing.
Disturbance is not an essay on terrorism nor is it a witness’s account of Charlie Hebdo, and it’s certainly not a “feel good book.” The attack and what followed make up a small portion of Lançon’s narrative, which instead seeks to provide the most honest and intimate reproduction possible of the interior experience of a man who was a victim, who suffered a “war wound” in a country “at peace.”
Disturbance is a book about transformation, about one man’s shifting relationship to time, to truth, and to his own body.
Philippe Lançon is a French journalist and writer. He was born in 1963.