9781403969750

Random Destinations Escaping the Holocaust and Starting Life Anew

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781403969750

  • ISBN10:

    1403969752

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-09-17
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

Random Destinations examines how novels and short stories portray those who managed to escape from Central Europe in the 1930s following the rise of Nazism. They faced many concrete and psychological problems at their random destinations: language acquisition, adjustment to different mores, fitting into the community, coming to terms with having been rejected by their homeland, the conflict between the desire to remember and/or forget their past, and, above all, the need to reshape their identities. Their personal struggles are contextualized within their historical situation, both global and specific to their new locale. The book argues that fiction, by taking ordinary escapees' difficulties into account, paradoxically offers a subtler and more truer picture that sociological studies that have tended to foreground the successes of a few outstanding individuals.

Author Biography

Born in Vienna, Lilian Furst escaped Austria in 1939. She was educated in England, and emigrated to the US in 1971. She has published mainly on nineteenth-century European literature, including Romanticism in Perspective, Fictions of Romantic Irony, and All is True: The Claims and Strategies of Realist Fiction as well as several works on literature and medicine. She has also published Home is Somewhere Else: Autobiography in Two Voices, which combines her own childhood memories of emigration with a manuscript left by her father. She is Marcel Bataillon Professor of Comparative Literature at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
To the Reader xi
Introduction: ``Shards from the Explosion'' 1(20)
London
``Twin Souls'': Anita Brookner, The Latecomers (1990)
21(16)
``The Hidden Abyss'': Gillian Tindall, To the City (1987)
37(12)
A ``Success Story'': Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, ``A Birthday in London'' (1963)
49(14)
British Provinces
``Try to Forget'': Maureen Duffy, Change (1987)
63(10)
``To Serve under the Chimney'': W.G. Sebald, ``Max Ferber,'' The Emigrants (1992)
73(18)
New York
``The Great Loss'': Bernard Malamud, ``The German Refugee'' (1963)
91(10)
``An Abundance of Happiness'': Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, In Search of Love and Beauty (1983)
101(18)
``A Bizarre Double Game'': Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shadows on the Hudson (1998)
119(16)
U.S. Provinces
``Can You Harmonize?'': Carol Ascher, The Flood (1987)
135(14)
``An Inconsequential Appendix and Coda'': Randall Jarrell, ``Constance and the Rosenbaums'' in Pictures from an Institution (1954)
149(14)
India
``Accepting--but not Accepted'': Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay (1988)
163(12)
The ``Hanger-On'': Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, ``An Indian Citizen'' (1968)
175(12)
Conclusion: ``A Bit in the Middle of Nowhere'' 187(10)
Notes 197(6)
Bibliography 203(6)
Index 209

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