Philippe Claudel’s Brodeck as a parody of the fable or the Holocaust universalized

Helena Duffy

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This article examines Philippe Claudel’s 2007 novel Brodeck (French title: Le Rapport de Brodeck) that allegorizes the Holocaust by parodying tropes and narrative structures characteristic to fairy tales and fables. While analyzing the author’s simultaneous inscription and subversion of the two ancient genres, I speculate about the possible reasons for his narrative choices and consider the meanings generated by his indirect representation of the Nazi genocide. Considering the widespread view of the Holocaust as sacred and unique, the article problematizes the novel’s universalization of the Jewish tragedy, which Claudel achieves by drawing on genres shunning historical and geographical specificity, and aiming to convey timeless and universal truths.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-526
Number of pages24
JournalHolocaust Studies
Issue number4
Early online date2 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 May 2018


  • Holocaust
  • Philippe Claudel
  • Fable
  • Fairy Tale
  • third generation
  • parody
  • animal rights

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