On May 26, 2018, French writer Colombe Schneck with her latest Chinese translation of her new book, Remedy, came to Sisyphe bookstore in Shanghai to share her experience with readers.
Remedy was co-published in January, 2018 by People’s Literature Publishing House and Shanghai 99 readers. The story unfolded from the request from my mother to name the unborn granddaughter Salome, which was the name of my mother’s cousin who vanished with great grandmother from Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1943. I investigated the story behind the name and learned about what seniors and Jews have experienced during the time of World WarⅡ.
Schneck said that she wrote this book out of a sense of guilty. In order to live better, she had to release this guilty through writing them down, which reflected on 2 aspects: first, everyone in the family survived the camp except for Salome. Second, French people pay little attention to the massacre of Jews. Although they sympathize with the dead but never question about the executioner. Schneck said that the death of Salome never get remedies so the shadow of sadness have fallen on the whole family.
For Colombe Schneck, the book is also the self-reflection. Born in Paris, Colombe Schneck herself is a born Paris lady. Though she was not physically harmed by the World WarⅡ, she is eager to know what had happened. So, the book gives the identification and blood of Jews back to herself. In addition, her work inspired the young generation as well. Because nowadays people paid too much attention to the present and the future to see what happened in the past.
She is a writer, journalist, documentary director, who start to write 10 years ago. As a journalist, she is a diligent social investigator buried in her work and keeps her distance from the world. As a writer, she enjoys her own space to the fullest and tries to recall the past and portrays it by writing them down.
Colombe Schneck’ s independent character is influenced by female in her family. She was well-educated by family and her grandmother has always told her to live an elegant and delicate life because with all the thick and thin they have been through in the era of war, there is nothing left for them to complain about. When asked whether she was a feminist, Colombe Schneck reckoned that women are not born weak. In her family, the hearts of female are strong and resilient. French feminism from 1960s had some impact upon her and in her 40s, there were apparent hints of feminism. So next, she planned to write a book featuring wome.
She mentioned her experience of abortion at the age of 17 that made her realize the difference between male and female. Women are physically vulnerable. Her father is a doctor and he accompanied her to the abortion. A year after this event, she still had the feeling of abandoning her child and was tortured by the pain. She wrote a novel named Seventeen in 2017. Interestingly, she received mails from male readers saying they had sympathy with the event.
Colombe Schneck said that it made her happy that Chinese readers are curious about her new book. “It is evidence that literature is universal and we sympathize with each other in terms of the emotions like pain, suppression and happiness.”