Writing Resistance and the Question of Gender: Charlotte Delbo, Noor Inayat Khan, and Germaine Tillion

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Curtis Ms, Lara R
Holocaust; Women; World War Two; France; Resisting; theater; Special Operations Executive; Arts and Humanities
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In this dissertation I profile and compare the lives and works of Charlotte Delbo, Noor Inayat Khan, and Germaine Tillion, who were of the same generation and who actively participated in the French Resistance during the Holocaust. I discuss ways in which these writers frequently infuse modes of art and frequently theater into their works, in literary characters, situations, imagery, and gendered subjectivity. I introduce my notion of “writing resistance,” by which I mean not only these writers’ eye witness accounts and representations of the historical events of WW II, but especially their subjective, often quite intimate reflections on their own personal engagements in initiatives aimed at resisting the devastating onslaught of Nazi power. “Writing resistance” thus examines how these writers’ works and experiences foreground their respective roles as résistantes.