Partial Answers - Homepage Journal of Literature and The History of Ideas The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Publications

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

 Volume 11/1
 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

 Volume 5/2
 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

 Volume 4/1
 January 2006

 Volume 3/2
 June 2005

 Volume 3/1
 January 2005

 Volume 2/2
 June 2004

 Volume 2/1
 January 2004

 Volume 1/2
 June 2003

 Volume 1/1
 January 2003

 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Sounding Postmodernity
 Jarmila Mildorf

 Narrativity and Sound in German Radio Play Adaptations of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy
 Till Kinzel

 Non-Sovereign Voices in Friederike Mayröcker’s Aural Texts
 Inge Arteel

 Singing Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
 Anahita Rouyan

 Being Silent, Doing Nothing
 Agatha Frischmuth

 Musical Macrostructures in The Gold Bug Variations and Orfeo by Richard Powers; or, Toward a Media-Conscious Audionarratology
 A. Elisabeth Reichel

 New Modes of Listening
 Emily Petermann

 Narrating Sounds
 Jarmila Mildorf and Till Kinzel

Get Adobe Reader

Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 15, issue 1 (January 2017) : 47-60
Romain Gary’s Aesthetics of Survival
From Genghis Cohn to King Solomon
Nourit Melcer-Padon
Rubric A: Episodes in the History of Ideas
Rubric B: Twentieth-Century Novel

Abstract

In many of his novels, Romain Gary depicts modes of survival during WWII. Yet survival is not restricted to times of war: in times of peace too, one must use whatever means at one’s disposal in order to survive life’s many challenges. Humor, cynicism, madness, revenge, benevolence, murder, as well as marriage, child bearing, and writing are presented as plausible mechanisms of survival. The common denominator for these methods can be termed “bricolage”: an imperfect yet possible reliance on random components, as well as on hope and imagination, to make existence liveable.

Underlying the survival inventory deployed by Gary, are inescapable moral issues. None of us are exempt, and our collective consciousness forces us to realize that each of us is responsible for every kind of manifestation of human behavior. Particularly problematic is the relationship between morality and the human craving for perfection. One of the means to reach perfection is, presumably, art, made with all materials of life, the unpalatable along with the beautiful. For Gary, as long as one keeps in mind that artistic perfection is no more attainable than ridding oneself of one’s collective imperfections, the artist’s work and imagination are endowed with moral agency.


 All Rights Reserved to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem- Partial Answers © 2004. Powered By Priza

The Johns Hopkins University Press