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French and JewishCulture and the Politics of Identity in Early-Twentieth Century France$
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Nadia Malinovich

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113409

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113409.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Beginnings of a French Jewish Literature

The Beginnings of a French Jewish Literature

Chapter:
(p.38) Chapter 2 The Beginnings of a French Jewish Literature
Source:
French and Jewish
Author(s):

Nadia Malinovich

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113409.003.0003

This chapter explores the tension between universalism and particularism as expressed in the pre-war poetry, novels, and essays of André Spire, Edmond Fleg, Henri Franck, and Jean-Richard Bloch. It examines the question of Jewish identity in the modern world through writers that paved the way for the much more widespread phenomenon of Jewish self-questioning in the post-war years. It also looks at André Spire's ground-breaking Poèmes juifs and Quelques Juifs that offered a scathing critique of both Jewish assimilation and French antisemitism. It discusses Henri Franck's prose poem La Danse devant l'arche, which describes a young man's quest for the meaning of life and reveals a similar tension between affirming the specificity of Jewish roots and embracing a larger French cultural heritage.

Keywords:   universalism, particularism, pre-war poetry, Jewish identity, Jewish assimilation, French antisemitism, Jewish self-questioning

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