Our reading choices: “Peace or war”, “My 14 years”, “All people”, “Blessed be this child whom a voice in her head has made grow up”…


On the stall of the week, you will be spoiled for choice! As for the essays, the explosive book by the great Russian novelist Mikhail Shishkin on Russian horror, and the dream of another Russia. In comics, how to discuss the 14-year-old girl that we were with the woman that we have become, in the footsteps of Lucie Mikaelian. But also, the Warsan Shire choir sings about the end of childhood, Raphaël Meltz questions the many facets of a strange reality and Pierre Savy retraces the “Jewish policy” of the princes of the Renaissance.

ESSAY. “Peace or war. Reflections on the “Russian World” by Mikhail Shishkin

Russia must burn, hammers Mikhail Shishkin in peace or war, a collection of essays on the present, the past and the future, or the absence of a future, of Russia. In the ruins, perhaps, another Russia, buried, an old momentum broken by the empire, by communism, by their double heir Putin, will awaken, and this is the full force of this great book of anger, to keep open the possibility, or the dream, of this rebirth.

This other Russia, Mikhaïl Chichkine knew it, in some democratic impulses always repressed. There is something of the Decembrist revolt, which, in the XIXe century, wanted to break the tsarist autocracy, in the joy he experienced in 1991 at the fall of the USSR. Nor does he forget the brief democratic experience that followed the February 1917 revolution, before the Bolshevik takeover, when he recounts the “white revolution” of winter 2011, where, he writes, the demonstrators anti-Putin had, finally, “self-awareness” – like the Decembrists, like the February revolutionaries. In vain, again.

Most of these texts, with the exception of a preface and an afterword, were written before the invasion of Ukraine in 2019. The war which, Mikhail Shishkin recalls, began in 2014, is however already at the heart of the book. War, and the shame it brings. He writes, in his 2022 preface: “I would like to apologize to the Ukrainians. But I know that everything (happens) there is unforgivable. » Beyond forgiveness stands simple lucidity, and a writer has nothing else to oppose to barbarism. The ability to say what is, what appears when the scenery falls. Fl.Go

“Peace or war.  Reflections on the “Russian world”” (Frieden oder Krieg), by Mikhaïl Chichkine, translated from German by Odile Demange, Black on white, 206 p., €21.50, digital €16.

comics. “My 14 years. Investigation into my discovery of sexuality”, by Lucie Mikaelian, Jeanne Boëzec and Lisa Chetteau

It all starts with a diary, kept by a teenager born in 1989. Lucie Mikaelian is 30 years old when she comes across her old spiral diary, where was written: “Diary – let people talk. » In 2003, she wrote down her anxieties, hopes and desires, those of a young woman very determined to “losing your virginity” recording the metamorphosis of her body and the anticipation of sex to come, the dread of doing it wrong and the search for answers (“What did they say about Skyrock, again? »), her fantasies (an cunnilingus handcuffed to the bed, etc.), the abyss of the first heartache…

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