Charlie

The week finally comes to an end. A crazy week. Sad. Frightening.

I had barely finished imparting my New Year’s wishes to my French friends — former colleagues, clients, partners — when they were struck by horror. Right In the heart of Paris… the XIIe arrondissement nonetheless, where I once lived for almost three years.

Twitter, Facebook, email and text messages relayed nothing but friendship all week. Thankfully friendship, is what I mean. Nonetheless, it makes you think so very, very much.

I was in New York right at the foot of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I ran for my life. I obviously was terrified. The destruction was everywhere, palpable. It was so for a long time afterwards.

I didn’t have to run this week, but I was frightened all the same. I’m still scared, to be frank. I can’t quite understand why. There’s violence and death, of course — and there is still great destruction, the invisible kind. Perhaps the worst kind.

That’s how it feels like at the moment.

This event touches freedom of expression, culture, diversity, politics and living together. It touches my strongest commitments.

It also touches the personal beliefs and professional motivations of many of my colleagues at De Marque, all the while affecting the people we work with every day, notably authors, publishers, and booksellers. In Quebec, France and elsewhere.

Matter of factly, what we do here every day, tapping away at our keyboards, is to further the transmission of ideas and works through digital form — a crucial undertaking. We do it our own way, in league with our methods and limitations, of course, yet always guided by the desire to embolden diversity and increase the breadth of works.

This is why we, at De Marque, are a little Charlie, as well.

Humbly.

By tipping our hats to authors and publishers.
By wishing strength and courage to our French friends.
And by paying tribute to the fallen of this terrible week.

We go on.


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