The Era of the Witness (review)

The Era of the Witness (review) a few), by far the majority of France's 600,000 Jews today and thus the wave of the immediate future (p. 23). One wishes at times that Nolden's analysis provided more substantial comparative means for assessing these works. From Chapter Three, it would be interesting to place Cécile Wajsbrot's La Trahison (The Betrayal, 1997) in relation to a work from the same year, La Compagnie des spectres (The Company of Ghosts, trans. Christopher Woodall [Champaign, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 2006]) by non-Jewish writer Lydie Salvayre. On the surface, their approaches seem similar: a younger female narrator discovers that the return of the repressed (Vichy) haunts our every day even at the end of the twentieth century. In Wajsbrot's case, however, the novel argues that France still refuses to face its haunting past (pp. 92­93), while Salvayre accuses a neurotic obsession with this history. To what should we attribute such divergent perceptions? (While Salvayre is not Jewish, she is the daughter of refugees from the Spanish Civil War.) Can it be explained by their membership in different communities? Or by a different awareness of the debates concerning history and memory in France? Similarly, Chapter Five would benefit from greater contact http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Purdue University
ISSN
1534-5165
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

a few), by far the majority of France's 600,000 Jews today and thus the wave of the immediate future (p. 23). One wishes at times that Nolden's analysis provided more substantial comparative means for assessing these works. From Chapter Three, it would be interesting to place Cécile Wajsbrot's La Trahison (The Betrayal, 1997) in relation to a work from the same year, La Compagnie des spectres (The Company of Ghosts, trans. Christopher Woodall [Champaign, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 2006]) by non-Jewish writer Lydie Salvayre. On the surface, their approaches seem similar: a younger female narrator discovers that the return of the repressed (Vichy) haunts our every day even at the end of the twentieth century. In Wajsbrot's case, however, the novel argues that France still refuses to face its haunting past (pp. 92­93), while Salvayre accuses a neurotic obsession with this history. To what should we attribute such divergent perceptions? (While Salvayre is not Jewish, she is the daughter of refugees from the Spanish Civil War.) Can it be explained by their membership in different communities? Or by a different awareness of the debates concerning history and memory in France? Similarly, Chapter Five would benefit from greater contact

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Feb 14, 2009

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