Abstract

Soazig Aaron's Le Non de Klara (2002) is a prize-winning novel about an Auschwitz survivor and has been greatly lauded, by Jorge Semprún among others. This article attempts to convey the novel's status as a literary artefact of high aesthetic quality and to interrogate the complex ethical questions the work mobilizes. Two diametrically opposed responses to the novel are considered. The first holds that, while the non-Jewish Aaron (a pseudonym) may have the right as a creative writer to simulate the voice of a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, the Jewish reader may still be troubled by the fact that this survivor rejects her Jewish identity and is, moreover, constructed in morally ambiguous terms. The second view is that Aaron's attempt imaginatively to cross a Jewish-Gentile hiatus via textual introjection and empathy is artistically justifiable and morally exemplary, and that her use of artifice to accede to 'truth' is entirely legitimate.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1468-2931
Print ISSN
0016-1128
Pages
pp. 438-450
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-27
Open Access
No
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