Download After Representation?: The Holocaust, Literature, and by R. Clifton Spargo, R. Clifton Spargo, Robert M. Ehrenreich PDF

By R. Clifton Spargo, R. Clifton Spargo, Robert M. Ehrenreich

After illustration? explores one of many significant concerns in Holocaust studies--the intersection of reminiscence and ethics in inventive expression, fairly inside of literature.

As specialists within the examine of literature and tradition, the students during this assortment study the moving cultural contexts for Holocaust illustration and demonstrate how writers--whether they write as witnesses to the Holocaust or at an resourceful distance from the Nazi genocide--articulate the shadowy borderline among truth and fiction, among occasion and expression, and among the situation of existence persevered in atrocity and the desire of a significant life. What inventive literature brings to the examine of the Holocaust is a capability to check the boundaries of language and its conventions. After illustration? strikes past the suspicion of illustration and explores the altering which means of the Holocaust for various generations, audiences, and contexts.

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Extra resources for After Representation?: The Holocaust, Literature, and Culture

Example text

Despite normalizing pressures, that past does not seem to pass—though three postwar generations may not be enough of a basis from which to generalize. Yet in the midst of taboos and cautions, or sometimes as if provoked by them, fictions multiply and create a decentered center and plural memory. Ironically enough, one of the last taboos guarding the Shoah is fostered by historians and philosophers who wish to maintain a strict genre tranché hygiene between story and history.  The problematic of reception, in short, complicates that of representation.

From the other side of Auschwitz Levi now dreams himself back inside the camp. Here then is another continuity, the survival of Auschwitz as a phenomenon recurring not just in the author’s psychic life but as part of his deep perception of what the outside world must, in potentia, always also be. Auschwitz’s recurrence relates to the continuity of culture as by a straightforward inversion, and as such its nightmarish meaning depends on a trust, however fragile, that Levi bestows on the world of family, nature, home—all of which might be dissolved in a flash.

HISTORY WRITING AND THE ROLE OF FICTION 33 Yet curing mourning through memorialization is a strange physic, since the healing of psychic wounds is usually achieved, if at all, by forgetfulness over time. This, however, is precisely where fiction enters as a faithful type of forgetfulness: call it the forgetful cunning of the writer’s hand. It sounds paradoxical, I know, to place forgetfulness in the service of remembrance. Yet invoking such concepts as integration and sublimation (however incomplete they are as psychic remedies) points to an active rather than idle energy, to a powerful tendency working in the background, and which the arts, above all, make perceptible.

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