Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Pawn on the Chest Board by Iréne Nemirovsky. (1934, translated by Stephen Wilson)

I offer my great thanks to Max u for providing me with an Amazon gift card that allowed me to read this great novel by Iréne Nemirovsky 

        Iréne Nemirovsky and her Family 

Iréne Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in the Ukraine February 11, 1903, she died at Auschwitz August 17, 1942.  Her most  famous work is Suite Francaise.

I begain reading Iréne Nemirovsky with her acknowledged master work about France under German occupation, Suite Francaise.  With the completion of The Pawn on the Chest Board I have read twelve of her novels, a very good authorized biography, the imagined memoirs done by her daughter and ten of her short stories.  Starting in 1924 she wrote on average a novel a year.  With her murder in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp at age thirty nine, the Germans robbed the world of probably thirty more wonderful novels and who knows how many short stories.  I cannot help but take this loss personally.   

I have a que now of seven posts waiting to be written so some of my near term postings will be brief.

The Pawn on the Chest Board begins is set  in France during an economic crisis.  The plot focuses on a man who through shrewd dealings in which profit is the only concern, rises to real wealth.  Nemirovsky knew from family experience the workings of international finance at high levels, she had no illusions about the ethics of wealthy businessman and international traders.  Soon it is clear another world war is likely to start and the man finds a source of cheap weapons overseas.  He begins to sell them at inflated prices to the French military and becomes very rich.  (Plot revelation coming) his son joins the French Army and is killed as a result directly of the defective armaments his father brokered to the government.

      I highly recommend this biography 

A desire to provide wealth and security for his family, as is often the case in a Nemirovsky work the mother is seen as behind much of the family problems pushing the husband to make more and more money to satisfy her money which results in the death of their only child.

This is a very good work showing tremendous emotional intelligence.  

Mel u

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