by Claude Lanzmann, translated from the French by Frank Wynne
Born to a Jewish family in Paris, 1925, Lanzmann’s first encounter with radicalism was as part of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation. He and his father were soldiers of the underground until the end of the war, smuggling arms and making raids on the German army. After the liberation of France, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. In Paris he met Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and started an affair with the latter that would last for seven tumultuous years. He became the editor of her political-literary journal – a position which he holds to this day – and joined the ranks of the most important literary and philosophical figures of post-war France. Lanzmann’s memoir is a cry of witness to the 20th century that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. To be Published by Atlantic Books
Claude Lanzmann was born in Paris on November 27, 1925. Lanzmann has a degree in philosophy, and studied at the University of Berlin from 1948-49. In 1952 he met Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and began working at the journal, Les Temps Modernes, of which Lanzmann is now the director. In 1970, after having worked as a journalist and editing of several television projects, Lanzmann became a documentary filmmaker. His first film Pouquoi Israel (Why Israel), is a repsonse, in part, to his former anti-colonialist comrades who refused to understand how someone who agitated for Algeria’s independence from France could also feverently support the survival of Israel. Lanzmann began working on Shoah during the summer of 1974; the film occupied him full time for 11 years.
Frank Wynne is an Irish literary translator and writer. Born in 1962 in Co. Sligo, Ireland, he worked as a comics editor at Fleetway and later at Deadline magazine before becoming a literary translator. He jointly won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Houellebecq for Atomised. He has also won the 2008 Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize.