Trauma, Memory And Identity In Five Jewish Novels From The Southern Cone

Paperback | March 18, 2014

byDebora Cordeiro Rosa

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The Jewish presence in Latin America is a recent chapter in Jewish history that has produced a remarkable body of literature that gives voice to the fascinating experience of Jews in Latin American lands. This book explores the complexity of Jewish identity in Latin America through the fictional Jewish characters of five novels written by Jewish authors from the Southern Cone: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It examines how trauma and memory have profound effects on shaping the identity of these Jewish characters who have to forge a new identity as they begin to interact with the Latin American societies of their newly adopted homes. The first three novels present stories narrated by the first generation of immigrants who arrived in Latin American lands escaping pogroms in Russia, and the increasing persecution and anti-Semitism in Europe, in the decades prior to World War II. The fourth novel analyses the identity conflicts experienced by a second generation Latin American born Jew who questions his Jewish, questions of assimilation and integration in to his society. The last novel closes this study with the existential crisis experienced by a perfectly assimilated non-religious Jew, who enquires about his Jewishness and compares himself to other Jews around him.

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The Jewish presence in Latin America is a recent chapter in Jewish history that has produced a remarkable body of literature that gives voice to the fascinating experience of Jews in Latin American lands. This book explores the complexity of Jewish identity in Latin America through the fictional Jewish characters of five novels writte...

Debora Cordeiro Rosa was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and has been living in the United States since 1998. She got her Ph.D. in Latin American Literature at Florida State University in 2005 and is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Modern Languages at University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:202 pages, 8.99 × 6.02 × 0.58 inPublished:March 18, 2014Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739193015

ISBN - 13:9780739193013

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Table of Contents

IntroductionChapter1: History of Immigration to the Southern Cone CountriesArgentinaBrazilChile ParaguayUruguayChapter 2: Perfumes de Cartago by Teresa Porzecanski - UruguayChapter 3: Para siempre en mi memoria by Sonia Guralnik - Chile Chapter 4: Barrio Palestina by Susana Gertopan - Paraguay Chapter 5: O Terceiro Testamento by Francisco Dzialovsky - Brazil Chapter 6: No tan distinto by Marcelo Birmajer - ArgentinaConclusion

Editorial Reviews

Cordeiro Rosa (Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando) introduces nonspecialists to the topic of Jewish Latin American identity, specifically, the experiences of first-, second-, and third-generation Jewish Latin Americans in the Southern Cone during the 20th century. She shows how selected characters in five novels move from trauma and memory to the formation of new identities, with varying success. She describes the difficulties of the first-generation immigrant in Uruguayan Teresa Porzecanski's Perfumes de Cartago, Chilean Sonia Guralnik's Para siempre en mi memoria, and Paraguayan Susana Gertopan's Barrio Palestina. In the fourth novel, Brazilian Francisco Dzialovsky's O Terceiro Testamento, Cordeiro Rosa tells of a second-generation youth who feels more Brazilian than his parents (concentration-camp survivors) but still faces personal issues of integration. In the fifth novel, Argentine Marcelo Birmajer's No tan distinto, the author relates how a third-generation Jew experiences identity conflicts different from those of previous generations and questions the meaning and nature of his own Jewishness. The novels are well chosen, illustrating the inherent tension between cultural integrity and assimilation..the novels and their subject matter are interesting, and the book is accessible. Summing Up: Recommended.