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Monday, December 11, 2006

Reader's Diary #201- Irene Nemirovsky: Suite Francaise (FINISHED)

Nemirovsky never did get around to including the plight of the Jewish people in her unfinished work, Suite Francaise. And while the key might be in the "unfinished", the two appendices at the end might give further clues. Here we discover that Nemirovsky had converted to Catholicism once she immigrated to France (a fact considered irrelevant by the Nazis). Still, the lack of any discussion of Jewish people by any of the characters seems a bit odd to me. Instead, Nemirovsky seems to focus on the differences between castes. Reading Nemirovsky's notes about her work, it seems to have been an overt decision to make that a focus, while also choosing to show an almost indifference to the events of the war itself. Still, while an expose on upperclasses appalled by the boorishness of the lowerclasses, and the lowerclasses appalled by the greed and shallowness of the upperclasses, presents an interesting take on war, not mentioning the Jews for this particular War is astounding. Sadly, Nemirovsky's own life provides the missing element- a remarkable but sad substitute for the ending she was never able to provide through fiction.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just finished this book and was profoundly moved by it, PROFOUNDLY.
Wow ....

John Mutford said...

Anonymous, While this particular posting might seem to imply that I felt Suite Francaise was lacking, I did really enjoy it. I can't say I was PROFOUNDLY moved by it, but yes, I did think it was a great book. There were many moments I thought "Wow" myself, she's an incredible writer with some very observant insights. Still, I'm curious; how did it move you so much? In what way, I mean?

John Mutford said...

For another excellent review, please check out Matt's.

John Mutford said...

And for even more reviews: The Inside Cover, Age 30, and Book Club Girl.