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Benjamin Fondane

Benjamin Fondane (1898–1944) was a Romanian Jew who emigrated to France in 1923 to pursue his love of French poetry and culture. While at law school in Bucharest, he spent most of his time writing for avant-garde literary periodicals. In Paris, Fondane worked at an insurance company and for Paramount Pictures while establishing himself as a poet and philosopher writing in French. Under the guidance of the Russian émigré philosopher Lev Shestov, Fondane became a leading exponent of existential philosophy in the 1930s. He also spent time in Argentina, at the invitation of Victoria Ocampo, lecturing on avant-garde film and directing a surrealist comedic film. In 1944, he was deported from France and killed at Auschwitz. In addition to Cinepoems and Others, New York Review Books publishes a volume of his selected essays, Existential Monday.

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