By Angela Kershaw

ISBN-10: 0203869583

ISBN-13: 9780203869581

ISBN-10: 0415957222

ISBN-13: 9780415957229

This ebook analyses Irene N?mirovsky’s literary construction in its courting to the literary and cultural context of the inter-war interval in France. It examines issues of crucial value to our knowing of the literary box in France within the interval, similar to: the shut dating among politics and literature; the ancient, political, cultural and private legacies of the 1st international struggle; the so-called ‘crisis of the radical’ and the try to create and increase new narrative types; the phenomenon of Russian emigration to Paris within the wake of the Russian Revolution and Civil warfare; the probabilities for the production of a French-Jewish id and mode of writing; and the specter of fascism and the method of the second one global struggle.

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But, with an absence of logic which is typically human, I have noticed that it is particularly her male readers—and not the most frivolous or naïve ones—who deplore this very strange disdain for charm and emotion in a writer as talented as she is. They go as far as to imply an inability, strangely disappointing in the case of a female sensibility, to approach this limitless domain. Gaston-Martin here attacks male critics who criticise women writers for failing to be sufficiently ‘feminine’ whilst at the same time refusing any positive value to this ‘femininity’.

156 It is certainly true that, under the Occupation, some writers defended the idea that to publish anything at all in a legal source was an act of betrayal. But this was a controversial view. 158 Robert Pickering, who has studied the specific case of works published legally under the Occupation, which express neither collaboration nor resistance, stresses the idea of absurdity as a way of approaching such writing. 159 This is a fitting evaluation of the context of publication of Némirovsky’s Occupation writing: its very existence seems absurd, and yet Némirovsky’s determination to continue to write and to publish could equally be interpreted as a negation of that very absurdity through an affi rmation of her writing identity.

158 Robert Pickering, who has studied the specific case of works published legally under the Occupation, which express neither collaboration nor resistance, stresses the idea of absurdity as a way of approaching such writing. 159 This is a fitting evaluation of the context of publication of Némirovsky’s Occupation writing: its very existence seems absurd, and yet Némirovsky’s determination to continue to write and to publish could equally be interpreted as a negation of that very absurdity through an affi rmation of her writing identity.

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Before Auschwitz : Irene Nemirovsky and the Cultural Landscape of Inter-war France (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature) by Angela Kershaw


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