The Prominence Of Holocaust Themes In The Media Testifies To Their Compelling Grip On Contemporary Consciousness And Memory, Particularly For A Younger Generation Of Jews Who Never Experienced The Nazi Genocide First Hand But Were Raised Amid Its Ashes Mathieu, The Narrator Of This Novel, Is One Such Person, Drawn By His Sister S Suicide To Confront The Effects Of His Family S Tragic Past Esther, The Narrator S Gifted Older Sister, A Teacher And Aspiring Writer, Was Born In France To Polish Jewish Refugees In 1943, Narrowly Escaping The Deportations That Claimed The Aunt After Whom She Is Named Growing Up In The Jewish Immigrant Quarter Of Paris, She Is Haunted By The Holocaust, Obsessively Reliving In Her Fantasies, Dreams, Troubled Behavior, And Abortive Struggle To Write The Family Trauma She Has Absorbed But Not Actually Experienced Born After The War, Mathieu Is Left To Grapple With Recovering His Sister S Memory Which He Had Resolutely Tried To Deny And With It The Meaning Of His Own Identity, Family Origins, And Historical Predicament Piecing Together Other People S Memories, Conjecture, Conversations, And Eyewitness Accounts, Mathieu Attempts To Write The Book, And Tell The Tale, That Esther And His Family Failed To Transmit A Result Of His Effort Is The Novel Itself, Which Interweaves Multiple Layers Of Time, Identity, Memory, And Experience Mathieu S Intense Relationship With His Sister Is Provocative For Its Deep Psychological And Moral Resonance Being Neither Victim, Survivor, Nor Witness, Does He Have The Right To Give Voice To The Unlived And Unimaginable Or Is He A Voyeur Or Imposter, Usurping The Lives Of The Real Victims Placing In Bold Relief The Hidden Thoughts, Obsessions, Conflicts, And Creative Struggles Of The Second Generation That Has Inherited The Anger, Sadness, Guilt, And Fear But Not The Actual Memory Of The Nazi Genocide, Henri Raczymow Gives An Authentic And Powerful Voice To Its Grim Legacy In Our Time.
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- 204 pages
- Writing the Book of Esther (French Expressions)
- Henri Raczymow
- 21 October 2018 Henri Raczymow