America, America! A new America ? Create new magazine when we talk about the inevitable disappearance of the paperweight is a challenge that does not seem to frighten Francois Busnel and Eric Fottorino. With the revue America they want to focus on deciphering and understanding America who elected Trump as its head. A successful and promising first issue. America as you’ve never read it …
It’s an oddity. An incongruity even. A review, a “Mook” (contraction of magazine and book), is created by announcing the end of its quarterly publication in four years. So here is number one out of sixteen. Four years is the start of a good aging of a Bordeaux wine. But it is also the length of the presidential mandate in the United States.
It was during this mandate, which began in January of this year, that Francois Busnel, former editor-in-chief of the magazine Lire, host-producer of the literary show La Grande Librairie, and Eric Fottorino, creator of the magazine Le 1, decided to pay particular attention, in particular through the eyes of writers. : “Writers take us to another world, the real one most likely”. We know the particular taste and the friendly relations with the great current authors of the other side of the Atlantic of the director of the new publication. The latter could not remain insensitive to the appointment of a “clown” whose Marc Dugain paints a superb edifying and dismal portrait.
Once the concept is understood, we are not surprised to find at the heart of this new America review, a long interview with Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize for Literature and with whom the television host has conducted several interviews. This time, the writer, who became a belated supporter of Obama, explains in particular how racism was born to differentiate the “poor whites” from the “poor blacks” by economically dividing a mass of citizens who were initially identical in their demands.
This fascinating interview thus sets the tone for this magazine which wants to understand Trump’s current America, the reasons for his election and the resulting deep unease. Make no mistake, America is not a militant magazine fighting against the new American administration. It is above all a review of explanations, of understanding. With the exception of a text by Augustin Trapenard comparing the presidential Donald with Walt Disney’s angry Donald, no caustic or satirical articles, but substantive topics like this investigation by Sylvain Cypel near the “rust belt” in Michigan and Ohio, listening to this declassified middle class white, until then unconditional support of the Democratic Party. Comments are collected on the loss of reference due to globalization, on the aid granted only to “lazy”, on a return to an independent and strong nation. All this discomfort is accompanied by anti-Islamic racism, of course, but above all by white-black discrimination, from which we understand that America has not yet freed itself. This racial differentiation set aside, many articles seem transposable in our country during this hair-raising electoral period. We discover as “at home”, a failing social fabric between large cities with a cultivated, prosperous population (more than 80% of the inhabitants of Manhattan voted Clinton) and a downgraded “rural” world, faced with unemployment and delinquency. .
In an interview with Barack Obama, which gives its literary tastes and its conviction that it is necessary to read works of fiction to remain paradoxically in tune with the realities, the magazine America teaches us that this racism was underestimated by the former president of the United States , settled in his optimism about a necessarily better future world. As such, the evocation of an evening of October 21, 2016 at the White House, where Hillary Clinton’s victory was no doubt, is edifying. Or the astonishment of Toni Morrison, prostrate for several hours at the announcement of the results of the presidential election.
America’s bet is to still be optimistic by trusting intelligence, culture: unprecedented news from F. Scott Fitzgerald soon included in a collection of unknown texts, a very nice article devoted to Moby Dick and to Melville, not recognized during his lifetime, but whose genius is unanimously praised today, a list of reference works dedicated to Los Angeles superbly evoked by Alain Mabanckou, remind the reader that literature is the best vector of resistance to stupidity, ignorance and prejudice. The writers will therefore be the carriers of America’s history, the “memorialists of this strange reign”.
Like the well-known “XXI”, America magazine is also a beautiful object that goes well beyond the magazine that we throw away after reading. Witness to the quality of its content, America is intended to be preserved (the slice of the 16 publications will most likely draw a map of the United States) as contemporary history books, which we will resume in a few months, a few years, for note the correct, erroneous, but reasoned analyzes of this astonishing year 2017. Knowing that a saying goes that what happens “over there” happens to us some time later. We can simply hope that at the end of the next four years America no longer has a reason to exist. It will simply mean that a new President of the United States will be elected. Better than this one. Or “less worse”.