In this Book

Aharon Appelfeld's Fiction
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summary

How can a fictional text adequately or meaningfully represent the events of the Holocaust? Drawing on philosopher Stanley Cavell's ideas about "acknowledgment" as a respectful attentiveness to the world, Emily Miller Budick develops a penetrating philosophical analysis of major works by internationally prominent Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld. Through sensitive discussions of the novels Badenheim 1939, The Iron Tracks, The Age of Wonders, and Tzili, and the autobiographical work The Story of My Life, Budick reveals the compelling art with which Appelfeld renders the sights, sensations, and experiences of European Jewish life preceding, during, and after the Second World War. She argues that it is through acknowledging the incompleteness of our knowledge and understanding of the catastrophe that Appelfeld's fiction produces not only its stunning aesthetic power but its affirmation and faith in both the human and the divine. This beautifully written book provides a moving introduction to the work of an important and powerful writer and an enlightening meditation on how fictional texts deepen our understanding of historical events.

Jewish Literature and Culture -- Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Front Matter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xix
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  1. 1. Acknowledgment and the Human Condition: Historical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Approaches to Writing on the Holocaust
  2. pp. 1-26
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  1. 2. Literature, Ideology, and the Measure of Moral Freedom: Badenheim 1939
  2. pp. 27-50
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  1. 3. Fear, Trembling, and the Pathway to God: The Iron Tracks
  2. pp. 51-77
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  1. 4. The Conditions That Condition This Utterly Specific People: The Age of Wonders
  2. pp. 78-105
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  1. 5. Religious Faith and the “Question of the Human”: Tzili: The Story of a Life
  2. pp. 106-152
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  1. 6. Imagination, Memory, and the Storied Life: The Story of a Life
  2. pp. 153-180
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 181-190
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  1. Works by Appelfeld Cited in Text
  2. pp. 191-192
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 193-195
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