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Yasmina Reda: Memories are monsters or illusions

Yasmina Reda: Memories are monsters or illusions

French artist Yasmina Reda (“God of Carnage”) is considered one of the most widely performed playwrights.

“Serge” is the new absurd theater in the form of a novel. Lily-Brett columns sometimes come to mind. They both look at relationships, a few words are enough for both of them to make you feel like strangers in the past, as if they invaded your apartment and argued, hugged and loved each other.

This fits together.

Yasmine Reza says she keeps no trace of her Jewish and Iranian roots.

Her siblings Popper – Serge, Jean and Nana (between 60 and 50 years old) – never cared about their ancestors …

Serge the Elder. I didn’t do much. Now his wife has fired him, and rightly so. Serge swore over his daughter’s life that he hadn’t cheated on her.

while Jan (he is the narrator). nice man. Nice guy Nana is the youngest. But she is not as young as she likes to show herself.

For example, you never asked your father (who died long ago) and your mother (who just died) how they escaped the Nazis in Vienna or how their grandparents were murdered.

They were not Jews. Her mother did not care about Israel. And let himself burn. The father would have liked to take the children to the synagogue – there is no chance.

Now Serge, his daughter, Jan and Nana are going to Auschwitz. Look, a lot of flowers in the streets! Do you really want to eat another egg sandwich? Look at the slope! awesome. Come to the gas chamber! awesome. I already had a salad!

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The Israeli writer Yishai Sarid also made concentration camp tourism a topic, in 2019 in “The Beast” (Verlag Kein & Aber). Memory can be a beast, an unbearable burden.

Or an illusion, as with poppers. What are candles supposed to do at Auschwitz? Shrinking tears? Serge stays in the car most of the time (“they never tire of misfortune”).

The novel tightens like a rope around your neck. For now, you still have to smile. In the end no more.

Should we never forget so that we don’t repeat “that” again? Yasmina Reda: But you will do it again. Knowledge that is not closely related to oneself has no consequences.”

Yasmina
Satisfaction:
“Serge”
Translated by Frank Heibert and Heinrich Schmidt Henkel.
Hanser Verlag.
208 pages.
€22.95

KURIER rating: ****