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About the Author: Edgar Hilsenrath

Edgar Hilsenrath (born 1926) is a German-Jewish writer living in Berlin. His main works are Night, The Nazi and the Barber, and The Story of the Last Thought.

Hilsenrath was born in Leipzig. In 1938 his mother escaped with her two children to Siret (Sereth), in Romanian Bukovina, where they enjoyed a respite from persecution. At the time that he should have received an entrance card to higher education, he and his mother were interned in the ghetto of Cernăuţi (Czernowitz).

He began to write about the Holocaust after his liberation when he moved to Paris. Hilsenrath also lived in Palestine, Israel, and New York.

According to Dagmar C. G. Lorenz, Simon Wiesenthal Center, "Hilsenrath calls things by their proper names and portrays life first and foremost as physical existence, of whose details the reader is constantly made aware: birth, nursing, feeding, sex, and excretion accompanied by feelings of pleasure and pain. The rhetoric of politicians and political theory are shown to be the schemes of beings ultimately dependent on these bodily processes and subject to physical desires. Hilsenrath's very approach is a protest against disrespect toward the mortal body, against the tyranny of the mind over matter."


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Mass Market Paperback, Published in Sep 2008 by Le Livre de Poche

ISBN10: 2253082880 | ISBN13: 9782253082880

Page count: 314

En août 1939, à Zurich, un riche fabricant de pain azyme fait son testament. Outre sa fortune, Jossel Wassermann lègue l'histoire de sa famille et de son village natal, Pohodna, un pauvre schtetl de Bucovine, aux confins orientaux de l'ex-Empire austro-hongrois. A travers les paroles de Jossel, c'est le petit monde juif d'Europe centrale qui reprend vie, avec ses personnages pittoresques - porteurs d'eau, marieuse, traîne-savates, sans oublier le rabbin portant papillotes et caftan noir. Sur près d'un siècle, les histoires s'enchaînent, truculentes, subversives... si vivantes qu'elles paraissent devoir ne jamais finir. Pas même à l'heure de l'Holocauste, où le rabbin les confiera in extremis à la garde du vent, sur le toit du wagon qui emporte toute la population de Pohodna vers la mort. Avec cette évocation d'une culture anéantie, l'auteur du Conte de la pensée dernière nous rappelle le pouvoir du verbe, plus fort que la mort, plus fort que l'oubli.

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