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Irène Némirovsky's Russian Soul: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov

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A well known figure in the 1930s, Némirovsky emigrated from Russia in 1919, and settled in Paris where she started her career as a writer of novels, short stories, and film scenarios. Because of her Jewish background, she was deported in 1942 and shortly after died in Auschwitz. In 2004 she was rediscovered by critics and the general public due to the publication of “Suite Française”.

This paper will give an overview of Irene Némirovsky’s experiences, persona and her literary works, focusing on the relationship with Russian literature, namely with Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. Through the use of theories of influence and intertextuality, the paper will trace a distinct connection Russian literature, in order to understand its coexistence with a very French style in terms of identity and memory.

This talk is part of the Russian Graduate Seminar Group series.

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