April 7, 2001
And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran
BCDC's rating for this book was 2.7.
The menu for this meeting was brunch, which included cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, cinnamon bread, carrot juice, jalapeno cheddar bread, and other tasty things.
The BCDC Reading Guide for And There Was Light is below.
- Lusseyran warns us about feeling as though he is remembering his childhood through "rose-colored glasses." Despite this, I had difficulty not feeling this way. Did anyone else?
- Would you recommend this book? To whom? Why?
- Do you think the DF newspaper was unbiased or not? Does it matter?
- Did anything surprise you about his acceptance (or lack of it) into French society?
- What do you make of Lusseyran's observation that in the camp killers comforted and "good" men stole?
- What about the idea that children somehow have a more pure vision of the world -- that they experience it with their whole selves?
- Lusseyran uses a lot of visual words (e.g., "see") and gives many descriptions of places and people. Do you believe these were accurage/realistic descriptions or were they more descriptions of his images (what he saw on his "screen")?
- What did you think the light was that he was perceiving after being blinded? People's auras? Electro-magnetic fields?
- Do you think, under similar circumstances, students now could or would do this (form a resistance) again?
- How does the fact that Lusseyran reveals himself as a sexist homophobe affect your perception of the rest of the book? How can these attitudes be reconciled with his anti-nationalistic "all men are brothers" philosophy?"
- What is the light? Where does it emanate from?
- Have you read other Holocaust memoirs? Which? If so, how does this one stack up?
- Discuss the author's notion that his life after the book is not relevant. Surely there was a significant ipact on his life. How does somebody rejoin normal life after experiencing the events in the book?
- How do you think Lusseyran's descriptions of events differ from those of a sighted person?