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Writing OccupationJewish Émigré Voices in Wartime France$
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Julia Elsky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781503613676

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503613676.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

A Jewish Poetics of Exile

A Jewish Poetics of Exile

Benjamin Fondane’s Exodus

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 1 A Jewish Poetics of Exile
Source:
Writing Occupation
Author(s):

Julia Elsky

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9781503613676.003.0002

Benjamin Fondane lived through two displacements: first when he immigrated from Romania to France in the 1920s; and then again when he went into semihiding in Paris under the Occupation. Although he had come to French in search of a literary community through language adoption, in his wartime poetry he questions the possibility of a monolingual language. This chapter focuses on Fondane’s revisions of his poetry during the war, and in particular on L’Exode, his literary representations of the June 1940 flight toward the Southern Zone. Fondane writes in many languages at once: he not only incorporates the names of Hebrew letters and transcriptions of prayer in his French text but he also states that even if only one word existed in the world there would still be no one language. In this chapter, Fondane’s texts are also put into dialogue with Jacques Derrida’s Monolingualism of the Other.

Keywords:   Benjamin Fondane, Jacques Derrida, multilingualism, monolingualism, exile, exodus, Romanian literature, genetic criticism

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