Ikor, Roger

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IKOR, ROGER

IKOR, ROGER (1912–1986), French novelist. Ikor, whose parents were of Lithuanian origin, was born and educated in Paris, where he became a teacher. He published two undistinguished novels, A travers nos déserts (1950), and Les grands moyens (1951), before his best-known work, the two-part novel Les fils d'Avrom (1955, The Sons of Avrom, 1958), which comprises La greffe de printemps and Les eaux mêlées. This vast, naturalistic fresco of Jewish immigrant life in Paris during the early decades of the 20th century was awarded the Prix Goncourt. In it Ikor shows how the graceless, Yiddish-speaking newcomers integrated themselves, accepting the French way of life and customs. Ikor thus glorifies Jewish assimilation, not with excessive lyricism, but with a "reasonable" tone and perspective. He returned to the problem of assimilation in 1968 in the essay Peut-on être juif aujourd'hui? Here, in the face of the reality of the State of Israel and evidence of an awakening Jewish consciousness among Franco-Jewish intellectuals, he makes certain concessions to the "outdated folklore" of Judaism. A volume of Ikor's novellas, Ciel ouvert, appeared in 1959. A moderate socialist and a liberal writer of occasional brilliance, he undoubtedly marks a period in Franco-Jewish culture, but that period is the 19th century, clad in 20th-century garb.

bibliography:

C. Lehrmann, L'Elément juif dans la littérature française 2 (1961), 191–8.

[Arnold Mandel]