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Returning to Exile?: The Retrieving and Rejecting of Jewishness in French Shoah Narrative

Suskey, Ryan Eric (2009) Returning to Exile?: The Retrieving and Rejecting of Jewishness in French Shoah Narrative. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis explores the intertwining (and often competing) identities of Jew and Frenchman that play out across the landscape of Shoah (Holocaust) literature in France. The study seeks to tease out aspects of individual identity and to explore the nature of Jewishness in the context of trauma. This is achieved through a reading of survivor narratives written in French and (primarily) for a French audience.Because the narratives studied are all first-hand accounts, the portrait that is analyzed is that which the author chooses to present to his audience (for better and worse). The texts which will inform this study are Charlotte Delbo's trilogy Auschwitz et après, David Rousset's l'Univers concentrationnaire, Paul Steinberg's Chroniques d'ailleurs, and Joseph Joffo's Un sac de billes. By reading a diverse group of French authors, both Jewish and non-Jewish, this project attempts to study the relationship between one's Jewishness and their environment, both hostile and welcoming, in order to develop a better understanding of an individual's concept of "self."The last section will be an exploration of the continued impact of the Shoah on French Jewish identity and post-memory, as explored through Claude Lanzmann's film SHOAH. The readings of all of these texts will be grounded in a consideration of the unique historical factors that contributed to the formation of French Jewish identity (i.e. the French Revolution, the emancipation of French Jewry, the secularization of the state, etc.).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Suskey, Ryan
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairInsana, Linainsana@pitt.eduINSANA
Committee MemberAstro,
Committee MemberOrbach, Alexorbach@pitt.eduORBACH
Committee MemberMecchia, Giuseppinamecchia@pitt.eduMECCHIA
Date: 16 April 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 August 2008
Approval Date: 16 April 2009
Submission Date: 1 September 2008
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: 20th Century; Auschwitz; Auschwitz et Après; Chroniques d'ailleurs; Delbo; France; Holocaust; Jewishness; Joffo; Judaism; Rousset; Sac de Billes; Shoah; Steinberg; Trauma Studies; Univers Concentrationnaire; World War II
Other ID:, etd-09012008-181525
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:50


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