With “Soleils d’Or”, Jean Kouchner recounts the violent drift of a youth in search of an ideal

Young people with no prospects, who dream of a life in the mountains to create their parallel society there, before falling into violence: with “Soleils d’Or-le rêve d’Escaro”, the Montpellier journalist Jean Kouchner writes a novel in part inspired by the Rey-Maupin affair, big news from the 90s.

In his Paris suburb, Gabriel leads a life without perspective. His love for the mountains leads him to meet other young people who also feel rejected by society.

Together they dream of settling in an abandoned farm in Escaro, in the Pyrenees Orientales. Project that they imagine to finance through a robbery without violence. But things don’t go as planned.

A hopeless youth, who dreams of a more fraternal society but turns to extreme violence: this is what Jean Kouchner addresses in his novel “Soleils d’Or-le rêve d’Escaro” (Balzac editions).

To write this story, the journalist, a former associate professor at the University of Montpellier and a collaborator at the Higher School of Journalism, was inspired in part by the Florence Rey-Audry Maupin affair, a sensational news story from the 1990s.

“A rejection of society that finds no political solution”

Presented as militants close to the extreme left, Florence Rey and Audry Maupin had been involved in a murderous getaway in October 1994 in Paris and Saint-Mandé, killing five people, including three policemen.

“Florence Rey and Audry Maupin are symbols of the rejection of society that affects an important part of young people. A rejection that cannot be resolved politically through normal channels, observes Jean Kouchner. I wanted to interview Florence Rey (released in 2009 after 15 years in prison, editor’s note) but it was not possible. I used this project to build this novel”.

Through the characters of Gabriel, Nemo, Mouna, Jean Kouchner evokes the situation of today’s youth. “It is strange to see that 65% of them do not find their place in society. For some, their studies do not lead to a job worthy of them and they are demoted. Others are hit by underemployment. This is reflected at election time by the non-participation of this youth, which denies the effectiveness of the vote. For them, voting is providing a service to the ruling class at the root of its ills.” Analyze the author. The “Golden Suns” designate the legitimate hopes of this youth, which fail in “an uncontrolled drift”.

“The novel also poses the problem of whether withdrawing from the world is not a dead end, an illusion”.

“Golden Suns-The Dream of Escarro”, by Jean Kouchner, Ed. Balzac, €19.
Meeting with the author, Tuesday, May 17, at 8:00 p.m., at the Gazette Café, 6 rue Levat.

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