Brasier de mots

A Blaze of Words
Brasier de mots

Rachel Ertel

This personal and scholarly reflection on the fate of the Yiddish language is organised in three parts. The first paints a picture of the Yiddish world of the past. After its destruction, the survivors were left with only a haunting absence, an obsession which is studied in the
second part by way of works of fiction (Perec, Wiesel), poetry (Celan) and philosophy (Derrida, Agamben). Finally, the third section is devoted to works of the Annihilation (Avrom Sutzkever, Primo Levi) and to works which, without direct reference to it, are marked by this heritage (Philip Roth, Patrick Modiano, Rosetta Loy, Bernard Schlink,
Robert Bober) and concern not just Jews, but all of mankind.

Rachel Ertel, PhD in literature and professor at the University of Paris-VII, is the author and translator of Yiddish and American literature.

  • Published on septembre 1st, 2003
  • 384 pages


"From Sholem-Aleikhem or Peretz to Sutzkever, Asch, Glatstein or the Singer brothers, this is the richness which Rachel Ertel makes you want to (re)discover and places firmly back in the position it should never have left, that of world literature." Le Monde