Fiction Derailed

Fiction Derailed

Wed, 23 Mar 2022 18:00 - 19:00 Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0)

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Postumous book launch in memory of Leon Yudkin

About this event

A comparison of Israeli, French and German literature.

“In this book we have a presentation of a series of struggles, as these struggles are pictured in the novel.

“The novel form, despite repeated forebodings and prophecies of its demise, has survived and even prospered. It has flourished and continues to flourish, not just despite the controversies over form, language, purpose and manner, but perhaps even as a result of these conflicts.

“What we have attempted, within the confines of limited parameters, is to illustrate how this has been approached and dealt with in fictional form.”

Leon I. Yudkin (1939-2013)

The book examines fiction through its practitioners and the theory of the novel. It explores German Expressionism, French Modernism, the Revival of Yiddish Literature and Israeli fiction. The work of many Yiddish and Israeli novelists, of the last generation and today, is examined with a new and fresh perspective. There are also chapters devoted to the writing of Joseph Roth and Eric Maria Remarque in “All Quiet On The Western Front”.

The sudden death on June 8, 2013, of distinguished Hampstead academic Leon Yudkin put paid to his plans to lecture in South Africa and speak at a conference in Germany.

It also prevented him from witnessing the publication of the latest of his 13 books, Fiction Derailed, a comparison of Israeli, French and German literature which includes appraisals of the extremes of expression found in Germany after the First World War.

Mr Yudkin, 73, who lived in Finchley Road, was the youngest of a Jewish family’s four children and the only son. His early years were spent in Northampton, to which the family was evacuated at the beginning of the Second World War.

Dr Leon Yudkin taught Modern Hebrew Literature at Manchester University and University College London, his Alma Mater, where he worked with Prof. Geller.

He also taught in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCL.

He was a leading authority on modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature. He authored thirteen books and was the editor of many others. He also contributed many articles to international academic journals. He led an annual workshop in Jerusalem on teaching Modern Hebrew Literature in Translation under the aegis of The International Centre for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization,

From 2006- 2011 Leon gave talks at an annual conference at the Hussite Faculty of Theology at Charles University in Prague, working with Prof. Lasek and Dr Nosek. The product of this was his book entitled,” In And Out: The Prague Circle and Czech Jewry.”

Leon also taught and examined PHD’s in the Faculty of Jewish Studies at Universite de Paris V111, working with Profs. Ephraim Riveline and Gideon Kouts.

Leon was a visiting professor, lecturing and teaching in South Africa, Australia and the US.

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