Original title: Nous, l’Europe
Imagined by a handful of idealists, ravaged by two world wars and damaged by a liberalism lacking in empathy but still championed by its most fervent supporters, the idea of Europe as a shared living space of free movement, discovery and multicultural exchanges is at the heart of this long poem in free verse. Laurent Gaudé begins at the industrial revolution, a true accelerator of history, and retraces a century-and-a-half of constructions, confrontations, hopes, setbacks and passions which saw the Europe of the Old World turn into a European Union full of promise but which is struggling to define its objectives and priorities at the beginning of the 21st century.
At a time when some have doubts and others have lost faith altogether, this poetic, socio-political and humanist saga reminds us that a shared memory, however painful, is a platform for the future and urges us to build a Europe that celebrates difference, solidarity and freedom.
A novelist, short story writer and playwright born in 1972, Laurent Gaudé’s works, which have been translated the world over, are published by Actes Sud. His books include Cris (2001), La Mort du roi Tsongor (2002, Prix Goncourt des lycéens 2002, Prix des Libraires 2003), Le Soleil des Scorta (2004, Prix Goncourt 2004), Eldorado (2006), Dans la nuit Mozambique (2007), La Porte des Enfers (2008), Ouragan (2010), Les Oliviers du Négus (2011), Pour seul cortège (2012), Danser les ombres (2015), Écoutez nos défaites (2016) and Salina. Les trois exils (2018). In 2017, he published his first collection of poetry, De sang et de lumière.