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Words and Witness: Narrative and Aesthetic Strategies in the by Lea Wernick Fridman

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By Lea Wernick Fridman

Connects Holocaust literature and picture to different works of "historical horror" as a way to study the bounds that trauma imposes upon literary and inventive expression.

Narratives of large-scale old horror and trauma go a bad boundary in illustration. What varieties are enough to such event? What are the kinds that such narratives truly take? Fridman is fascinated with the boundary that separates the representable from the unrepresentable and by means of the feel that literary works on both sides of this boundary are ruled through a distinct dynamic and algorithm from each other. shut readings of works by means of Aharon Appelfeld, Tadeusz Borowski, Paul Celan, Charlotte Delbo, Jerzy Kosinski, Claude Lanzmann, Dan Pagis, Piotr Rawicz, Andre Schwarz-Bart, and Elie Wiesel discover the artistic capability wherein those Holocaust writers strive against with studies that, in a truly genuine feel, can't be positioned into phrases. a brand new examining of Joseph Conrad's center of Darkness units the degree for comparative and far-reaching literary insights into the inspiration and belief of hectic narrative.

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Additional info for Words and Witness: Narrative and Aesthetic Strategies in the Representation of the Holocaust

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Chapter 2 The Silence of Historical Traumatic Experience: Aharon Appelfeld's Badenheim 1939 Mystery on the border of death Lay a finger upon your lips: 'Silence Silence Silence'-Nelly Sachs The previous chapter examined an essential unrepresentability or silence in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The point of Marlow's voyage to hear Kurtz's famous whisper is that the whisper is Kurtz's testimony to a narrative that is never told. Even this testimony is finally betrayed, sealing the silence of an unrepresentability that figures in all narratives of historical horror.

Concerts cease. We are told that a child prodigy, the "yanuka," has lost his voice and grown fat. And what does the story of a music festival have to do with the story of the deportation of the Jews of Badenheim, anyway? The absurd counterpointing of the deportation process The Silence of Historical Traumatic Experience 45 with the fortunes of a music festival projects the longings and the inadequacies of human speech into the fabric of the novel. Susan Shapiro, in a philosophical discussion of the incomplete ways we listen to testimony of catastrophic events, connects the possibility of speech, language, coherence, and thought itself to social existence, which it is the point of genocide to destroy, utterly and irrevocably.

The narration of unrepresentability does not move from fact to meaning to the integration of meaning as with the cannibals, the rivets, and the book; it moves from the unreality of certain facts, to the sensed "reality" and truth of other facts, to the testimony provided by Kurtz, and its problematic transmission. Thus, the European presence in Africa, the horror and exploitation made possible by the bureaucratic system, the treatment of the black man, and the description of life at the trading stations occur for the most part in the first section of Heart of 22 WORDS AND WITNESS Darkness as we follow Marlow from Europe to the shores of Africa and to the Central Station where he finds the vessel he is to command at the bottom of the river.

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