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Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955$
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Seán Hand and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479835041

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479835041.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Post-Holocaust French Writing

Post-Holocaust French Writing

Reflecting on Evil in 1947

(p.156) 8 Post-Holocaust French Writing
Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Bruno Chaouat

NYU Press

This chapter enumerates a significant number of literary, testimonial, and philosophical works that appeared in France and in other European countries in 1947. These works, offering different responses to the war, share one feature: each, in its own genre and style, engages with the question of evil. Just one year after his Univers concentrationnaire, David Rousset published Les jours de notre mort, a book that combines several literary genres—memoir, testimony, and novel. The same year, Georges Bataille wrote an intriguing commentary of Rousset’s book in his journal Critique, in which he hints at a mode of thinking that would later underlie his major theoretical work on the relationship among literature, excess, and evil. Meanwhile, Robert Antelme’s L’espece humaine can be read as an attempt to restore the ethical boundaries between victims and perpetrators and to rebuild humanism on the basis of a solid line between good and evil, resistance and collaboration.

Keywords:   post-Holocaust writing, evil, David Rousset, Georges Bataille, Robert Antelme, humanism

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