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Looking for heroes in postwar France : Albert Camus, Max Jacob, Simone Weil

Author: Neal Oxenhandler
Publisher: Hanover, NH : Dartmouth College : Published by University Press of New England, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This is the story of a love affair with a culture - a 50-year involvement that shaped at the very deepest levels its protagonist's philosophy, his identity, his life. In this elegant piece of "memoir criticism," a genre originated by Montaigne but finding renewed life in recent years, Neal Oxenhandler examines the impact of Camus, Jacob, and Weil on his own evolution as a writer, a scholar, and a human being. He
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Genre/Form: Biography
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Biographies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Oxenhandler, Neal.
Looking for heroes in postwar France.
Hanover, NH : Dartmouth College : Published by University Press of New England, c1996
(OCoLC)604646704
Named Person: Albert Camus; Max Jacob; Simone Weil; Neal Oxenhandler; Albert Camus; Max Jacob; Simone Weil; Neal Oxenhandler; Albert Camus; Max Jacob; Simone Weil; Simone Weil; Albert Camus; Max Jacob, Schriftsteller.; Albert Camus; Max Jacob; Neal Oxenhandler; Simone Weil
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Neal Oxenhandler
ISBN: 0874517311 9780874517316
OCLC Number: 32552209
Description: x, 234 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Contents: Introduction: The Pull of France --
Ch. 1. Becoming Meursault --
Ch. 2. Camus as Hamlet --
Ch. 3. The Roles of Albert Camus --
Ch. 4. Death of a Nobel Laureate --
Ch. 5. Taking Risks --
Ch. 6. The Destinies of Max Jacob --
Ch. 7. Holocaust as Last Judgment --
Ch. 8. Setting Things Right: Jacob as Postmodernist --
Ch. 9. Eros and Devotion --
Ch. 10. My Sister Simone --
Ch. 11. Living in a Jewish Body --
Ch. 12. Messages --
Ch. 13. Transgressive Acts --
Conclusion: The Ghosts of Paris.
Responsibility: Neal Oxenhandler.

Abstract:

This is the story of a love affair with a culture - a 50-year involvement that shaped at the very deepest levels its protagonist's philosophy, his identity, his life. In this elegant piece of "memoir criticism," a genre originated by Montaigne but finding renewed life in recent years, Neal Oxenhandler examines the impact of Camus, Jacob, and Weil on his own evolution as a writer, a scholar, and a human being. He finds subtle and surprising commonalities among the three writers, a harmony that motivated him to spell out their place in the postwar literary scene. Doing so, he began to unravel his own personal "craziness." He writes: "They taught me morality, politics, and religion, they gave me clues to secret parts of my psychic life.".

Oxenhandler begins with his first Atlantic crossing, as a GI in World War II, then recounts his postwar return when traces of these writers were still intact. "I could walk down their streets, read their books, interview their friends." Now from the perspective of five decades he contemplates the contributions of each figure, both to intellectual history and to his own awakening.

Camus, he says, combined political relevance and artistic achievement, serving as a witness against evil in the post-Vichy period. Jacob died in the Drancy prison camp at war's end. In Oxenhandler's reassessment, Jacob becomes a witness to the Holocaust, even though a Catholic convert. Weil, self-exiled Jew, dying of hunger in a protest against the German occupation of France, is viewed by Oxenhandler as a transgressive figure of controversy, too absolute to survive the contradictions of the modern world. From these lives, these deaths the author devises a new type of "mediated autobiography" to connect text, narrative, and personal identity.

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