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humanities 313 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 related to Vichy preferences for authority, hierarchy, and the wisdom of elders, seen in pervasive portraits of Marshal P├ętain. But praise of tradition could backfire. By praising national Vietnamese resisters to the foreigner, such as comparing the Trung sisters= opposition to Chinese domination to Joan of Arc=s resistance to the British, the seeds of a postwar Vietnamese nationalist resistance were inadvertently planted only to be harvested later by Ho Chi Minh. In Guadeloupe, Vichy confronted a firmly established republicanism. Citizenship had been granted to adult males, which meant that >Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity= meant something to the people of Guadeloupe. Jennings describes the way in which the >dismantling of the republic= had to be accomplished before imposing the National Revolution. Again, a nascent resistance to Vichy was firmly put down with the leaders jailed or driven into exile. The people of Guadeloupe feared that the National Revolution meant racism and a destruction of rights that had been won. In this example, the attack upon republicanism and the repression association with Vichy brought a postwar rally to the republic. A form of assimilation, not separation, marked the island=s postwar history when Guadeloupe opted to become a department of France. Eric Jennings is to be congratulated on a fine monograph that expands our understanding of Vichy and opens new perspectives on the postwar process of decolonization in the French Empire. (KIM MUNHOLLAND) Adrienne Kertzer. My Mother=s Voice: Children, Literature and the Holocaust Broadview. 384. $29.95 This lucid, intelligent consideration of children=s literature about the Holocaust raises questions that have long needed airing. >How do we tell children about the Holocaust without terrifying them, and what kind of knowledge do we convey when we are determined not to frighten?= Kertzer points out that the (predominantly American) requirement that children=s stories offer hopeful >lessons= is at odds with the historical and moral truth of the subject matter; for example, while children=s books almost always feature young protagonists who miraculously survive, only 11 per cent (175,000) of the European Jews under the age of sixteen in 1939 (1.6 million) were living at the end of the war. And, while the fragmented, tortured memoirs of survivors are testament to a horror that remains impossible to understand, children=s stories usually skirt the horror, and xxxxxx instead present coherent, resolved narratives which suggest a unified meaning that is both reductive and deceiving. In part 1, >Maternal Voices,= Kertzer analyses how children represent the voices of mothers in Holocaust narratives, and claims that >aesthetic choices and pedagogical beliefs intersect to make the stories that we give children 314 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 very different from the stories given to adults.= She discusses her own reception of her mother=s memories of surviving Auschwitz, which she heard as a child and in the context of a happy, safe family life. She offers cogent, sensitive readings of the memoirs of Aranka Siegal, Jane Yolen=s fictional Briar Rose, and Isabella Leitner=s memoirs. In part 2, >The Voices of Children,= she discusses the dominance of the voice of Anne Frank, and its adoption as the child=s voice of the Holocaust by American readers and writers. How >adults imagine the voice of a Holocaust child= leads into a discussion of the public reaction to Binjamin Wilkomirski=s spurious Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood, as well as an extensive, and illuminating, examination of the correspondence between Carol Matas and her advisors from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, who commissioned the writing of Daniel=s Story. Film, illustration, and photographs, and especially the child=s view, become the focus of discussion in part 3, >The Child in the Picture,= in which Kertzer analyses the ironies between the child narrator and the adult viewer=s knowledge in Roberto Benigni=s Life Is Beautiful. She contrasts this with the much less innocent voice of Anita Lobel in No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War and discusses the role of photographs and drawings in picture books about the Holocaust...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 313-315
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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