Thursday, September 10, 2009


Presented with Nicole today at the annual Jewish American and Holocaust Literature symposium on a Joann Sfar graphic novel called Klezmer.

We talked, among other things, about the different ways you can talk about family and cultural memories that have simply been lost. How do you approach the gaps and empty spaces in your family's past?


  1. Yes, I feel like we are missing so much from Julius and Ana Goldberg's lives. When I would ask Grandpa Art if they ever talked about Romania, he said that they didn't, because they didn't have good memories from there. I need to ask Aunt Julie to write down the stories that her mother managed to get from Ana. I do have a lace slip that belonged to Ana or one of her sisters.

  2. I think this is a good opportunity to look into some of the historical gaps we try to fill in the "restorative" mode of thinking. In our family histories, even though we knew our grandparents and we heard their tales, we still have to search through the fragments to piece together a story. It may never be coherent or complete, but that's the nature of story. Can we really expect to have a coherent narrative of ourselves as a nation when so many stories are lost?

  3. We can also ask: Could we even expect to have a coherent narrative of ourselves as a nation if all the stories weren't lost? Is a coherent narrative ever the full story in this crazy world of ours? Or do our stories have to be fragmented for us to make sense of the pieces?


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