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« Le déporté chez Semprún et Vercors, figures de la zone grise »

  • RAYNAL, Eva
Publication Date
Sep 17, 2017
Kaleidoscope Open Archive
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In The Drowned and the Saved, Primo Levi presents for the first time the « grey zone » concept, that is to say the space of privileges and struggles for power through ambiguous relations of complicity and responsibility between prisoners and guardians, in the absolutely totalitarian and absurde frame of the camp. Jorge, Gérard : the autobiographical I or fictional He, both know the nazi experience. Jorge reactivates his past thanks to Gérard, while Gérard is haunting Jorge's memories. The Long Voyage breaks the silence about his deportation to Buchenwald, while Literature or Life tries to explain this deliberate omission of almost twenty years. The clandestine editor and writer Vercors publishes in 1945 The Weapons of the Night. Pierre is a survivor from (fictional) Hochswörth camp. He thinks he lost his « human quality ». The following novel, The Power of the Day, relates how this condition may be recovered (or lost forever). Could Gérard and Pierre be considered as figures from the grey zone ? The motif of a corrupted ego should be explored, especially the homo sacer dimension, and the possible Lazarus representative. Yet, the human being could only be withered in a frame where the extraordinary becomes the standard : the camp, Moloch and laboratory of Radical Evil. Consequently, the text becomes an area for a new otherness: semprunian writing of rumination, and constant ontological questioning for Vercors.

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