This book analyses Irene Némirovsky’s literary production in its relationship to the literary and cultural context of the inter-war period in France. It examines topics of central importance to our understanding of the literary field in France in the period, such as: the close relationship between politics and literature; the historical, political, cultural and personal legacies of the First World War; the so-called ‘crisis of the novel’ and the attempt to create and develop new narrative forms; the phenomenon of Russian emigration to Paris in the wake of the Russian Revolution and Civil War; the possibilities for the creation of a French-Jewish identity and mode of writing; and the threat of fascism and the approach of the Second World War.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction 1: The Making of a Literary Reputation 2: Before David Golder 3: A Russian Soul 4: A Jewish Soul 5: Crisis and Conflict: Constructions of National Identity 6: Conclusions: Second Flowering Notes Bibliography Index
Angela Kershaw is a Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Birmingham. She is the author of Forgotten Engagements: Women, Literature and the Left in 1930s France (Rodopi, 2007).
"Kershaw's in-depth study allows one to appreciate Némirovsky's exceptional life and work, before Auschwitz. Essential."-- C. B. Kerr, Vassar College, Choice