In this Book

Witnessing the Disaster
summary
    Witnessing the Disaster examines how histories, films, stories and novels, memorials and museums, and survivor testimonies involve problems of witnessing: how do those who survived, and those who lived long after the Holocaust, make clear to us what happened? How can we distinguish between more and less authentic accounts? Are histories more adequate descriptors of the horror than narrative? Does the susceptibility of survivor accounts to faulty memory and the vestiges of trauma make them any more or less useful as instruments of witness? And how do we authenticate their accuracy without giving those who deny the Holocaust a small but dangerous foothold?
    These essayists aim to move past the notion that the Holocaust as an event defies representation. They look at specific cases of Holocaust representation and consider their effect, their structure, their authenticity, and the kind of knowledge they produce. Taken together they consider the tension between history and memory, the vexed problem of eyewitness testimony and its status as evidence, and the ethical imperatives of Holocaust representation.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction: Representations of the Holocaust and the End of Memory
  2. pp. 3-23
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  1. I. The Epistemology of Witness
  2. pp. 20-22
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  1. 1. The Holocaust as Vicarious Past: Art Spielgelman's Maus
  2. pp. 23-45
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  1. 2. “The Language of Dollars”: Multilingualism and the Claims of English in Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust
  2. pp. 46-81
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  1. 3. A Pedagogy of Trauma (or a Crisis of Cynicism): Teaching, Writing, and the Holocaust
  2. pp. 75-89
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  1. 4. The “Erotics of Auschwitz”: Coming of Age in The Painted Bird and Sophie's Choice
  2. pp. 90-124
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  1. 5. Maus and the Epistemology of Witness
  2. pp. 125-140
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  1. II. Memory, Authenticity, and the “Jewish Question”
  2. pp. 138-140
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  1. 6. Promiscuous Reading: The Problem of Identification and Anne Frank's Diary
  2. pp. 141-160
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  1. 7. Humboldt’s Gift and Jewish American Self-Fashioning "After Auschwitz"
  2. pp. 162-182
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  1. 8. Mormon Literature and the Irreducible Other: Writing the Unspeakable in Holocaust Literature
  2. pp. 183-195
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  1. 9. Beyond the Question of Authenticity: Witness and Testimony in the Fragments Controversy
  2. pp. 196-217
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  1. III. The Ethical Imperative
  2. pp. 218-220
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  1. 10. Maurice Blanchot: Fighting Spirit
  2. pp. 221-230
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  1. 11. Shoah and the Origins of Teaching
  2. pp. 231-251
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  1. 12. Teaching (after) Auschwitz: Pedagogy between Redemption and Sublimity
  2. pp. 245-261
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  1. 13. Approaching Limit Events: Siting Agamben
  2. pp. 262-306
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 307-308
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 309-317
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