Marcel Proust’s Unpublished Manuscripts Address Jewish Themes with Surprising Frankness

July 14 2021

While the celebrated French novelist Marcel Proust was baptized as an infant and raised a Catholic, his mother was born a Jew, he had much contact with his Jewish relatives, and numerous critics have commented on the Jewish themes and characters in his masterwork, Remembrance of Things Past. But recently published drafts and notes for the novel, long thought to have been lost, show these themes in a different light. Mitchell Abidor points to one especially striking deviation: in the manuscripts, the anonymous narrator of Remembrance of Things Past is “Marcel,” his unnamed mother is “Jeanne” (the name of Proust’s actual mother) rather than simply “mother,” and so forth. And this reveals something deeper:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Alfred Dreyfus, Anti-Semitism, French Jewry, Literature, Marcel Proust

 

Why a Government Victory in Southwestern Syria Is Bad News for Israel

Sept. 17 2021

Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces in the city of Daraa, where the initial protests that sparked the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began. The agreement ended a 75-day assault on the city, located near the country’s southwestern border, by Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces. Jonathan Spyer explains the significance of these events:

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Golan Heights, Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war