By R. Clifton Spargo, R. Clifton Spargo, Robert M. Ehrenreich
After illustration? explores one of many significant matters in Holocaust studies--the intersection of reminiscence and ethics in creative expression, relatively inside literature.
As specialists within the research of literature and tradition, the students during this assortment learn the moving cultural contexts for Holocaust illustration and demonstrate how writers--whether they write as witnesses to the Holocaust or at an imaginitive distance from the Nazi genocide--articulate the shadowy borderline among truth and fiction, among occasion and expression, and among the of existence persevered in atrocity and the desire of a significant life. What imaginitive literature brings to the learn 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 that means of the Holocaust for various generations, audiences, and contexts.
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Additional info for After Representation?: The Holocaust, Literature, and Culture
Book , lines –. . This is in keeping with a tension I discern between literary continuity and any revisionary or anti-elegiac poetics in my study of anti-consolatory grief, in which context I also discuss the ﬁgure of Niobe as depicted in Homer and Ovid. See Spargo, The Ethics of Mourning: Grief and Responsibility in Elegiac Literature (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, ), –, –. . My supposition here traces a debt to Geoffrey Hartman’s exploration of the renewal of culture after the Holocaust and his somewhat more idealistic placement of literature as the necessary center for the preservation of culture’s true and best destiny.
Produced by the narrative genius of a personal or collective ﬁltering strengthens that offstage command. It is when didactic or apodictic elements disturb the narrative least, when we can trust the tale rather than interpolations by nervous teller or clumsy editor, that biblical stories become memorable even to those outside the faith. This is what I mean by a faithful forgetfulness. The ellipses of inspired art derive from an absent-mindedness of that kind. ” I WANT TO COME BACK , in closing, to the history, ﬁction, and memory triad.
Necessities of a “narrative order,” or establishing a rapport between “vrai” and “vraisemblable,” determine certain changes in things as they factually happened. While retaining, for example, the names of some fellow inmates, Semprun renames others to whom he has given invented thoughts and words; a similar consideration, but for his readers rather than companions, motivates changes necessary to induce belief in a true yet unbelievable situation. “ONCE UPON A TIME” —the venerable formula I started with, or its biblical equivalent, “in those days”—suggests a further complexity from the side of history writing.