Thursday, March 23, 2017

Elie Weisel’s All Rivers Return to the Sea: Memoir

Elie Weisel’s All Rivers Return to the Sea, the first or his two part memoir, provide the reader with a wider view of Weisel than either his popular image, or many of his books provide. 

Of course, his experience in the Shoah is paramount.  But this book also shows that Weisel led a varied, well-traveled life following the Second World War.  He was no one’s victim: despite his experiences, or maybe because of them, as a journalist he placed himself at the center of many epochal moments.  He led a full life.

It is also interesting that he fails to explore the personal element of the trauma of the Shoah in his life.  He write about his experiences in the camps, of course, but the post-war material stands on its own.  Again, this is not the story of a victim or victim-hood.  It is the story of a life lived fully.  Weisel presents a picture of himself as a man active and functioning in the world. 

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