Rethinking the Margins with André Schwarz-Bart

From The Last of the Just and A Woman Named Solitude to the Posthumous Narratives

in European Judaism

Fifty years after his Goncourt Prize-winning début, and three years after the author’s death, a first posthumous novel, L’Etoile du matin (Morning Star) was published by André Schwarz-Bart and his wife and co-author, Simone Schwarz-Bart. Their respective roles in the writing process have never been transparent, and the lack of interviews, as well as limited correspondence, keep this situation unchanged today. A new volume of their unfinished cycle, entitled L’Ancêtre en solitude (The Ancestor in solitude), came out in 2015. The new narratives continue to explore how margins can be minimized in order to make us see similarities rather than differences. Critics have marginalized an ‘extravagant stranger’ who has been misunderstood for his biracial and bicultural transracial imagery, a ‘Fremdkörper’ in the canon of both Caribbean and French-Jewish literature. His manifold displacements allow us not only to ‘read with different eyes’, but also to read one historical trauma in and through another (Mary Jacobus).