This collection of fifteen essays deals with the literary memoirs of major twentieth-century writers and focuses on the spiritual, physical and moral devastation of 20th century life. They are comparative and cross-cultural. There is no other collection of essays with this range brought under one cover.

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Constantin V. Ponomareff is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he has taught Russian Language & Literature and Humanities for thirty-five years. He is the author of The Silenced Vision. An Essay in Modern European Fiction, Sergey Esenin; On the Dark Side of Russian Literature, 1709-1910; The Spiritual Geography of Modern Writing; In the Shadow of the Holocaust & Other Essays; One Less Hope. Essays on Twentieth-Century Russian Poets and The Curve of the Sacred (with Kenneth A. Bryson).
Introduction
The Metaphor of Loss in Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory
André Gide’s If It Die. The Creative Gamble
Günter Grass’s Beim Häuten der Zwiebel. The Final Battle with the Black Witch
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Words. On the Impact of Childhood
Boris Pasternak’s Safe Conduct and I Remember. A Charmed Life
Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening. A Tormented Spirit
Arthur Koestler’s The Invisible Writing. Autobiography as Escape from the Self
Maxim Gorky’s Childhood. Beyond Good and Evil
Octavio Paz’s The Itinerary. An Intellectual Journey. In Search of Identity
Stefan Zweig’s Die Welt von Gestern. A Bipolar Journey
Virginia Woolf’s Moments of Being. The Silence Within
Katherine Mansfield’s Notebooks. The Chameleon Self
Christa Wolf’s One Day A Year, 1960-2000. The Fear of Self-Revelation
Nathalie Sarraute’s Enfance. The Return to Life
Lidiya Chukovskaya’s To the Memory of Childhood. In Her Father’s Shadow
One Last Farmstead of Feeling