Article

Neophilologus

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 217-233

Œdipe à Jéricho. L’Œuvre testimoniale d’Henri Raczymow

  • Fransiska LouwagieAffiliated withFaculteit Letteren, Subfaculteit Literatuurwetenschap, Aspirant du Fonds de la recherche scientifique – Flandre, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Email author 

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Abstract

The present article includes a study of Contes d’exil et d’oubli and Un cri sans voix, two works by Henri Raczymow, a second-generation witness of the Nazi genocide. The analysis considers the testimonial project and the religious and psychoanalytical framework of both texts. While Contes d’exil et d’oubli is concerned with restoring the Jewish memory of the pre-Shoah period, Un cri sans voix discusses the after-effects of the Shoah in present-day life. However, in the latter case, the narrator partially distances himself from the protagonist’s judgment, thus endangering the authority of the witness. The main religious references are, on the one hand, the city of Jericho, as a point of comparison for the ‹walled-up’ memory of the first generation, and, on the other hand, the Book of Esther and Ezechiel’s prophecy about the people of Gog and Magog, for the evaluation of the victims’ attitude. On the psychoanalytical level, the article demonstrates how the protagonist’s obsession with first-generation memory is interwoven with a transgenerational Oedipus complex.