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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: 21 September 2021

Displacing Stereotypes

Displacing Stereotypes

Irène Némirovsky in the Occupied Zone

(p.165) Chapter 5 Displacing Stereotypes
Writing Occupation

Julia Elsky

Stanford University Press

This chapter presents a counterexample by focusing on a writer who completely removed Jewish voice and Jewish characters from her wartime writing. In analyzing Irène Neìmirovsky’s writings about the exode and displacement in the Burgundy region, I argue that Neìmirovsky’s removal of Jewish voices, languages, and accents that were present in her interwar literature is not an expression of Jewish self-hatred but an attempt to show that Jews have been rejected from the nation. She also moves away from the stereotypes she wrote about and that were imposed on her in the press, which are also discussed in this chapter. However, the constant theme of absence and displacement in her wartime short stories points to this absence. The overwhelming sense of displacement marks a shift away from her interwar writing about ambivalence toward Jewishness. This is particularly true for her three short stories about the town of Montjeu.

Keywords:   Irène Némirovsky, Occupied Zone, stereotypes, self-hatred, deportation, orientalism, belle juive

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