A Jewish Poetics of Exile: Benjamin Fondane and Jewish Émigré Authors in Occupied France

Event time: 
Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Event description: 

The Benjamin (Yale 1962) and Barbara Zucker Lecture Series
Among the Jewish writers who emigrated from Eastern Europe to France in the 1910s and 1920s, a number chose to switch from writing in their languages of origin to writing primarily in French, a language that represented both a literary center and the promises of French universalism. Under the Nazi occupation of France, these Jewish émigré authors continued to write in their adopted language, reexamining both their Jewishness and their place as authors in France, even as the Vichy regime and Nazi occupiers denied their French identity through antisemitic and xenophobic laws. This talk pays particular attention to Benjamin Fondane’s rewriting of his poetry during the war.

Julia Elsky, Associate Professor of French, Loyola University Chicago