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Talk:Irène Némirovsky

From Women in European History

Comments by Denver Barrows


~From what I gathered the thesis is that the difference in the culture she identified with and her hereditary culture did not become present until much later in her life....is this correct? I think you may want to make the thesis more clear and identifiable.

~I would use her "identity" to create a thesis and center that as your argument. Include the idea of being a woman in this identity as well.

~Overall, organized very well

~All of the citations looked good to me however I am awful with citations and footnotes so you may want to double check this

~All evidence was very relevant

~I made the grammar corrections that I saw on the actual wiki

~Good Job....I enjoyed reading this!

-Origins and Early Life:

~I would restructure the following sentence: "Little is known about her childhood prior to her and family’s flight to France in 1917, at the beginning of the Russian Revolution." to say: "Little is know about her childhood prior to the Russian Revolution when, in 1917, her family moved to France."

~"estranged mother" not sure if this is what you are trying to say but it comes off a little confusing...may want to clarify

~Why was there discrimination against Jews in Russia?

~I think it is an interesting parallel to relate their family to Orthodox Christians and I think it would be interesting to go further into this idea...its good

~great section!

-Literary Career and Family Life

~The following sentence is rather awkward: "Following her graduation from the Sorbonne with a degree in Comparative Literature at the age of 24, Irène would not go on to complete her first major literary work , until three years later." Also, it does not necessarily serve as a topic sentence so you may want to create a topic sentence and integrate this sentence into a future part of the paragraph

~The following sentences are a little unclear: "The novel recounts the story of an aging banker who is on a ship from Bolshevik Russia to Constantinople and well on his way to a solitary death. [11] It is markedly known as one of Némirovsky’s pieces written in a decidedly anti-Semitic, and as some would argue “self-hating”, tone."

~Could her relationship with her mother had any effect on the way she viewed women?

~Put this as a new paragraph: "Némirovsky’s futher literary efforts continued to be subject to influence upon her life by social, familial and policitcal issues, but her final work before her death at Auschwitz, at the age of 39 on August 17, 1942, focus primarily on dealing with the social effects of the Nazi occupation of France from June 1940 – July 1941. [15]"

-Suite Francaise

~I would break this sentence up to make it more clear: "It has wavered in its reception by critics as Némirovsky’s “chef-d’oeuve inconnu” (unknown masterpiece) and a documentary of the events of the tragic time period that does not properly “function” as a novel"

~unclear: "The very recent discovery of the manuscript by her daughter Denise in 1998 and it’s publishing in 2006."

~I would talk more about the different experience due to social status and I would try to incorporate gender differences (if there are any) in there as well

~new paragraph at "An underlying theme..."

-Identity and World War II

~I would break into two sentences for more clarity: " In these works, Némirovsky’s faith in the strength of character of the French at the time, their “courage and sacrifice in a time of adversity” and their “goodness and generosity” shone through, a belief in which is put to the test by the time she writes Suite Française."

-National, Religious, and Gender Identity

~This is a GREAT paragraph! I would use some of this information here to make you argument and thesis because this is a very strong idea and developed very well throughout the paragraph

~I think some more development on how she was a self-hating Jew would also be very interesting


Peer Review by Robert Qian


1. Your article explores Némirovsky's writing in detail, but your thesis does not become apparent until later on: She identified with her host country more than her home country, which significantly influenced her style and subject of writing. Perhaps your thesis could have been more cohesive and written in an introduction at the start of the article that briefly summarizes her and her major achievements.

2. The thesis provides a very interesting insight on the importance of nationality and identity, especially in a tumultuous time in Europe, where the Nazis simply judged people by their race or religion.

3. The initial paragraph hints at the importance of identity, but again, it would be better if there was an introductory paragraph for the thesis. I believe that it is an interesting topic and that reading the thesis wants me to know more about how her identity influenced her writing - and by extension others as well.


4. Your organization is well done, though it probably would be better to put the section on her published works at the end rather than in the middle of the article. The pictures are relevant and clear, while the headers and subheaders are done very well.

5. The order is very strong, especially because her time spent as a youth is extremely relevant to her later life. The chronological order is suitable, especially as it demonstrates the development in her writing from a great depression era to the Nazi occupation.

6. Again, I'm not completely sure you have a singular, comprehensive thesis - but the entire article is supportive of how her writings and experiences changed over the time, and does well in analyzing these factors.

Citations and Evidence:

1. There are plenty of footnotes available, though you probably need to be specific which source you refer to as your "ibid" source. Also, there were a glaring lack of footnotes in the "National, Religious, and Gender Identity" section, in which you talk about her personal feelings and motivations - where is the evidence for this?

2. Relevant primary and secondary sources were both used. I don't think that you need to make three footnotes for the same source three sentences in a row for the "Writings and Personal Experiences During the Occupation" section, however. Again, her personal opinions require footnotes

Grammar and Style:

9. I've made direct corrections on the source code in a word document at this link: https://webshare.uchicago.edu/xythoswfs/webui/users/yrqian?x=y&stk=92D93C79432A774 I've put the "track changes" option on so you can see what I edited without harming the references. Most of it were simple grammatical errors and a chronic overuse of commas.

10. Your writing style is largely clear, though there are some major grammatical problems which make it difficult to clearly understand the meaning of a particular sentence. (in particular the second sentence in the "Suit Francaise" section. Again, refer to the word document for a more-in depth overview.

11. Each of the paragraphs has a direct topic sentence that is relevant to a particular piece of writing or a important topic in her lifetime, though in the middle it seems that the books are merely being listed and briefly described rather than connected how she lived her life.


12. Irène Némirovsky's life is well represented and comprehensively covered in this article, though a bit more information about her death and legacy could be covered.

13. I think that in the middle there was a little too much description in the novels compared to analysis, and that it simply described what the books she wrote was about. Seeing how they were influenced to how to she lived her life can be a good addition to the article

Specific Suggestions:

1. Grammatical changes! Proofread!

2. I thought that one point in particular was ironic: Némirovsky was born Jewish and a Ukrainian/Russian, yet rejected her roots and identified herself as a French Roman-Catholic. By contrast, when the Nazis captured her due to her origins, and gave no heed to her conversion and her status as a Frenchwoman. Perhaps this could warrant further investigation

3. Directly quoting from the books rather than describing their content is probably more suitable when you're trying to demonstrate the impact of her life on her work. Maybe cutting on describing a large amount of her works and instead focusing more in-depth on particular writings can be a better way to analyze this.

Overall this is a very good paper! I think that all you need is some grammatical edits and more in-depth analysis

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This page has been accessed 3,144 times. This page was last modified on 12 May 2010, at 08:28.


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