The Mendelssohn Map

In the course of her researches into the father-son relationships of two geniuses, the Belgian author Diane Meur came across the banker Abraham Mendelssohn, son of the German Jewish Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and father to the composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

In The Mendelssohn Map, packed with interesting details and even humor, we follow Diane’s quest for missing pieces of the Mendelssohn genealogy, whose chart she creates here, embracing 765 individuals. With the Mendelssohn family at its epicenter, this marvelous journey turns into something of a literary encyclopedia, embracing successes and failures, and observations on the evolution of societies, and on the impact on them of wars and persecution. Rather than being simply about origins and their importance, the story develops to describe a world enriched by cross-fertilization, in which everyone is kin to one another. Or, as Diane expresses it: “The history of a family is of little interest to me unless it also sheds light on the history of the world.”

Diane Meur is a translator and author by profession. She was born in Brussels in 1970, and moved to Paris in 1987 to study literature at the École Normale Supérieure. The Mendelssohn Map was originally published in French 2015; this is its first appearance in a foreign language. It is also the first time that Swedish-speaking readers will be able to read the author in their mother tongue.

The Robert Weil Family Foundation is proud to be a partner in the Swedish launch of the book, together with the translator, Joachim Forsgren.

The Mendelssohn Map was released in Sweden in October 2020.