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PDF I was skimming around the internet last weekend – Sunday afternoon to be exact- when I happened upon a photograph of Benjamin Fondane.It was one of those old black and whites from the thirties, and Fondane’s hugely thick hair was brushed straight back off his head, his long neck swanning out of a zippered pull-over.He is looking off into the sun, misty hills behind him.Very European.Romanian as it happens.And Jewish.

There was something in the architecture of his face, the interesting v-shaped eyebrows, that drew me in.I looked him up, but I had to move backwards from his death because it was difficult to get past the fact that the Nazis gassed him at Auschwitz.While still at the Paris police station (before being sent to Drancy and then to Auschwitz), he wrote “fatalistically” to his wife: “If ever there was a Jew, an authentic Jew whom Hitler should have arrested, it’s me.”

Close friends sped to Gestapo headquarters to beg for his release on “the grounds of his great literary talent.” I can only imagine this.It’s enough to break your heart, as Exodus will do if you read it.


The gods have ordered the death of these men to be the subject
Of songs for generations to come.

And so it was.

I could only read this poetry knowing what happened to Benjamin Fondane.There was no other way for me to do it, and the words on the page became prophetic – not just for his life’s end but for mankind.What shall we do if the rivers / one after the other take their leave? / My god, what will we do?

You don’t have to be Jewish or religious to read the beauty and terror here.Written in 1934, the pieces are interwoven, like some strange play-song, and there’s a nod to the Greeks with a Chorus and a priest, and Hebrew prophecy, and French theater, and surrealism.

The author himself wrote the postscript in 1942 or 1943: “Poetry is in search of friends, not a public.And so through clandestine means this poem may gain a worthy life in the eyes of a dedicated audience.Let it be understood that the reader who shares our views will commit to spreading the word and, for that, is entitled to the trouble of copying or having the manuscript copied.”

Currently, the Kindle edition is under ten bucks.

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Book info

PDF Exodus ebook download

eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherMeany (P.D.) Co Inc.,Canada
File size4.2 Mb
Release date 01.08.2008
Pages count132
Book rating4.5 (4 votes)
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