Not a Holocaust memoir or historical fiction but a skillful reconstruction of a life that strides the two genres. This work is even darker, in that it weaves research, logical speculation, and emotive imagination around a Jewish girl who runs away from the convent school that is hiding her and soon disappears in Auschwitz via Drancy. Beyond the guesswork, like describing Mr. The author combines empathy and facts to see the suicidal ecstasy of Dora running away and hiding out on the wintry Parisian streets until her documented arrest and transport to oblivion.
Book Review: The Sad Tenderness of Patrick Modiano’s “Dora Bruder”
On Patrick Modiano and Perfecting the Art of Repetition ‹ Literary Hub
It takes time for what has been erased to resurface. Traces survive in registers, and nobody knows where these registers are hidden, and who has custody of them, and whether or not these custodians are willing to let you see them. Or perhaps they have quite simply forgotten that these registers exist. And the proof he offers?
This question is the question of the archive. His works—including Les boulevards de ceinture , Rue des boutiques obscures awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt in , and Chien de printemps , to name only a few of his approximately 30 novels—recreate shadowy atmospheres of wartime deception, disorientation, danger, fear, and claustrophobia. Modiano evokes the past exquisitely, but as seductively terrifying, and irresolvable. Dora Bruder relates and self-reflexively meditates on this layered quest to recover Dora Bruder from her terrible anonymity. The scant information that Modiano ultimately recovers amounts to a few biographical tidbits: Dora Bruder was the daughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants; she ran away in December , at age 15, from the Catholic boarding school where her parents had managed to install her without the knowledge of the Jewish Affairs police; she returned briefly to her home in April and then ran away again for a few weeks; finally, she was interned, first in the Tourelles prison, and subsequently at the deportation camp Drancy.
Haunted by the fate of Dora Bruder - a fifteen-year-old girl listed as missing in an old December issue of Paris Soir - Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick Modiano sets out to find all he can about her. In recreating the suffering of the past,. History is a funny thing, because while we call it nonfiction, perspectives blur the line between reality and imagination.