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Survivors’ Homelands.

Jewish Literature in Postwar Italy and Poland (in Italian)

by: Laura Quercioli Mincer
original title: Patrie dei superstiti. Letteratura ebraica del dopoguerra in Italia e in Polonia
published by
: Lithos
pp: 318 
ISBN: 978-88-89604-69-4
price: € 18,00

Book's frontpage

 Jewish literature has expressed itself in all the languages of the Diaspora. This volume outlines a fragment of one of its possible histories, based on works written in Italian and Polish.
The book is divided into four main themes or key points: the return of the Jews and their diffident reception after the Shoah; Jews’ political participation in the polis, which in these works generally took the form of Communism or Zionism; Jews’ self hate, also interwoven with their homosexual identity; the “return” of the second generation, or children’s and grandchildren’s processing of the memory of the previous generation.
The protagonists of these pages are well known writers or young authors; the Jewish experience in Italy and in Poland, as narrated by them, shows all the distance of their often divergent historical and spiritual vicissitudes, but also all the closeness of a profoundly unified destiny and inspiration.


Table of contents


1. “Will we no longer be afraid of people?" Return after the Shoa
1.1. Poland. Unrequited love
1.2. Adolf Rudnicki: The defeat of the intellectual
1.3. Henryk Grynberg and the ethics of testimony
1.4. Childhood (Glowinski, Wojdowski, Dichter)
1.5. Italy. Giorgio Bassani and the enigma of returning
1.6. Giacoma Limentani and the critique of violence
1.7. Aldo Zargani and “the supermarket of utopias”
2. Between Moscow and Jerusalem: “Ubi Lenin, ibi Jerusalme”
2.1. Poland. Jewish communists’ illusions and defeats
2.2. The dream of a shared Messianism
2.3. Between belonging and exclusion
2.4. Childhood and adolescence in communist Poland
2.5. Italy. Stories of lucky Jews.
2.6. The serene ones. From Rome to Jerusalem
2.7. Vittorio (Dan) Segre and Giorgio Voghera. Zionist autobiographies
3. Forbidden loves and self hate
3.1. “Few kinds of hate are as potent as self hate”
3.2. The “dream” of a guilty man (The dream of Asril by Julian Stryjkowski)
3.3. Mirrors that deform, or the degraded paradigm
3.4. Hassidic Jews or the Different ones
3.5. The condemnation and end of Asril
3.6. Silence by Julian Stryjkowski and Eyes of Gold by Giorgio Bassani
3.7. Remembering, Forgetting. The return of the second generationPoland: rediscovering history
3.8. Italy: strategies of returning between memory and oblivion
4.  Remembering, Forgetting. The return of the second generation
4.1. Poland: rediscovering history
4.2. Italy: strategies of returning between memory and oblivion

5. Conclusion 

Literary and memorialistic texts
Essays – Articles
Cited collective works
Index of names



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