Don Quixote in Exile (Jewish Lives) by Peter Furst

By Peter Furst

Peter Furst's biographical novel is the chronicle of a Jew who fled Germany within the 1930s.

The odyssey starts in Monte Carlo, the place a narrator named Peter is masking the car races for a German newspaper. who prefer lifestyles as an exile over a go back to Nazi Germany, Peter bounces to Madrid, the place he's branded a Nazi; covers the Spanish Civil battle from the again room of a Vienna coffeehouse; and trips to Belgrade, the place the entire cafe consumers with out darkish glasses are assumed to be spies. His ultimate trip, in spite of the fact that, is much from droll or ironic: he and his new bride needs to desperately seek the Caribbean for a rustic that may let them entry.

From Publishers Weekly
Starting with the epigraph "Humor is yet an amiable type of despair," Furst narrates in buoyant episodes the tale of his existence sooner than emigrating to the USA. the result's an autobiographical novel of outstanding energy. Journalist, Jew and a part of prewar Western Europe's coffeehouse intelligentsia, Furst opts out of Hitler's Germany in 1934, going first to Madrid and Vienna, then fleeing Europe altogether together with his Viennese bride, Gretl, who performs Sancho to his Quixote. They sail to the Caribbean yet, as refugees, are grew to become away at each port. In Santo Domingo, the place they've been provided employment on a farm, their benefactors change into opportunists who've refugees do what not anyone else will: fresh pigsties, poison rats, gather bills at gunpoint. From all this the Fursts go out guffawing, yet in time the laughter turns hole, revealing a crueler kind of depression. Exile capability detachment 'from nation, background, family, self' and this detachment right here breeds an exultant wit. Peter and Gretl are blithe amid adversity, debonair in defeat. but in the back of the gaiety there's a starting to be feel of loss?the lack of hopeful love, of the Europe Gretl represents and, notwithstanding unmentioned, of the Jews who stayed in the back of. it is a extraordinary, humorous, unsentimental, deeply ironic paintings.

From Library Journal
This "autobiographical novel" seems to be way more autobiography than novel, yet in both case it's a compelling tale. Furst, who now lives in California, was once a tender sportswriter for a Berlin newspaper within the early Thirties who additionally occurred to be Jewish. whereas in Monte Carlo to document on an motor vehicle race, the narrator realizes that it can be harmful to come back to Germany, so he travels as an alternative to Spain to hide the Spanish Civil warfare. His odyssey takes him to Austria, the place he manages to flee the German profession or even to come back and smuggle out his female friend. They flow directly to Prague and to Paris, only one step sooner than the Nazi conquest, and at last turn out within the Dominican Republic. The harrowing flight and slim escapes make for interesting studying. urged for medium to giant educational and public libraries, and crucial for Judaica, Holocaust, and global struggle II collections.
Jim Dwyer, California country Univ. Lib., Chico

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Extra info for Don Quixote in Exile (Jewish Lives)

Example text

And why should you? You’re an editor and I’m a lowly penny-a-liner. ” “Tell me anyway,” I said. Laying a long arm across the table, he responded with reluctant gratitude. “So, after she forbade me to address her as ‘Mother,’ she gracious­ ly allowed me to call her Liesl. Liesl Polgar. After she divorced my father, she married Alfred Polgar. ” “I read some of his essays. ” “Yes, witty indeed. He belongs to this exalted group of Kajfeehaus literati who are just about to hang themselves with their own apho­ risms.

What they said was that to be permitted to leave Germany, another coun­ try had to be willing to admit you. I guess the Nazis didn’t want you roaming all over the place, bad-mouthing Hitler’s Germany. I was lucky. The invitation to the Monte Carlo tournament put a French visa in my passport. Totta’s case was quite different from mine. As to the issue of mixed marriages, the racial laws had not yet been fine-tuned to the point where one could say with certainty whether the good blood of the Aryan granny would prove immune to the bad blood of the Jew­ ish one.

I laughed. Erik, funny as he could be, considered laughter an exploitable weakness. Things had to get pretty grim to provoke him to even a hint o f glee. If Erik’s ten inches allowed us a better overview o f the war, the lit­ tle bookstore around the corner from the cafe gave us an additional advantage. It specialized in foreign publications, many o f them con­ veniently obscure, from which Erik culled exotic items datelined “The Front”— the front being, in all likelihood, Cafe Arkaden under a different name.

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