Edmond Fleg and Jewish Minority Culture in Twentieth-Century France  book cover
1st Edition

Edmond Fleg and Jewish Minority Culture in Twentieth-Century France

ISBN 9780367186142
Published July 2, 2021 by Routledge
250 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Edmond Fleg and Jewish Minority Culture in Twentieth-Century France, the first critical biography of the leading French writer Edmond Fleg (1874–1963), explores his role in forging a modern French Jewish identity before and after the Second World War.

Through his writings – plays, novels, poems, and essays based on Jewish and Christian texts – Fleg fashioned a minority identity within the context of French Third Republic universalism. At the heart of his work we find a radical ecumenism, a rejection of exclusive and homogenous nationalism, and a deep understanding of the necessity of supporting vibrant minority subcultures within the context of a liberal democratic republic. This account is both individual and social, pointing to the ways in which Fleg acted within the possibilities and constraints of his milieu and used his writing to engage with and shape the discursive fabric of twentieth-century French culture.

This book appeals to a number of scholarly audiences, including historians and literary critics who work on modern France and Jewish and religious studies and those who focus on issues of identity and difference, as well as a more general audience interested in Modern France and/or modern Jewish history. 

Table of Contents


1. Creating the Self: French and Jewish

2. The Great War: Ecumenism in the Trenches and on the Stage

3. A Jewish Awakening in Postwar Paris: Writing Networks, Prophets, and Personal Narrative

4. Moses, Solomon, and Jesus: Biblical Legend as Modern Parable

5. My Palestine? My France.

6. Le Chant Nouveau: War, Retreat, Return


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Sally Debra Charnow is Professor of Modern European and Postcolonial History at Hofstra University. She brings together her interdisciplinary training in performance studies and history in her work on issues related to cultural production and politics. She is the author of Theatre, Politics and Markets in Fin-de-Siècle Paris: Staging Modernity (2005) and the editor of Artistic Expressions and the Great War, A Hundred Years On (2021). Her articles and reviews have appeared in Radical History Review, American Historical Review, French History, Modern and Contemporary France, and H-France.