Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: Purdue University Press
Introduction to Imre Kert
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Imre KertĂ©sz received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002, the first Nobel Prize for writing in Hungarian, a rather difficult language of a minor culture in Central Europe. More important is the fact that the Nobel Prize was awarded to an author who writes about the Holocaustâthat single event that defines Europe in the twentieth...
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When the Swedish Academy announced the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2002, most people asked, âWho is Imre KertĂ©sz?â Of course, it could have been almost any Hungarian author and the reaction would have been the same. Still, KertĂ©sz is less well known in the United States than, for example, the novels...
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Imre KertĂ©sz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in December 2002 for
âwriting that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric
arbitrariness of historyâ (see Nobel Prize in Literature: Laureates :
The Aporia of Imre Kert
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Does Imre KertĂ©sz write testimony or fiction? Even his Nobel citation, âfor writing
that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness
of history,â remains carefully neutral on this (Nobel Prize in Literature: Laureates
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Within the scope of the dominant philosophical and theological tradition of âthe West,â the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation occupy a privileged place. The apotheosis of these themes occurs in the work of G.W.F. Hegel, for whom reconciliation is the process by which every sundering is repaired and overcome, every...
Identities of the Jew and the Hungarian
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Our concepts often present themselves as ready interpretations. Their casual use saves us much effort by making something appear âself-evidentâ that would otherwise demand an explanation. The word âJewâ is used as a more or less selfevident category of identity, even though the content it conveys has been just as much transformed by secularization, modernization, assimilation, and acculturation...
Representing the Holocaust, KertĂ©szâs Fatelessness and Benigniâs La vita Ăš bella
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Imre KertĂ©szâHungarian Jew, concentration camp survivor, and Nobel Laureate for his work on the spiritual and existential consequences of the Holocaustâhas managed to depict the Holocaust in his novel Fatelessness in a way that can almost be called scandalous. From the protagonistâs own perspective, it tells the story of...
Imre KertĂ©szâs Fatelessness asHistorical Fiction
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Although Imre KertĂ©szâs novel SorstalansĂĄg (Fatelessness) first appeared in 1975 and has been available in Englishâtranslated as Fateless in 1992 and as Fatelessness in 2004âit took the Nobel Prize to acquaint many English-speaking readers and scholars with KertĂ©szâs contribution to Holocaust literature. In Germany, tooâalthough comparably speaking KertĂ©szâs work found more interest there than...
Galley Boat-Log (G
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...July: Two weeks in Germany. I visited Buchenwald and the factory at Zeitz. I recognized the sandy path. A young lad in workerâs overalls was cycling along it; he carefully mustered me. I must have struck him as foreign. It was narrower than I had remembered (the path, I mean). The factory sounded a greeting as well: the big...
Reading Imre Kert
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The work of Imre KertĂ©sz is rarely the subject of North American scholarship on the Holocaust. Although the canon of Holocaust literature discussed in North America includes many authors who do not write in Englishâwriters such as Elie Wiesel, Primo LĂ©vi, Aharon Appelfeld, Tadeusz Borowski, Ida Fink, and Charlotte...
Imre KertĂ©szâs Fatelessness and the Myth about Auschwitz in Hungary
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The totalitarian system not only called for a certain grade of clarity and simplicity that bordered on one-sidedness; the very structures of its existence were characterized by simplification. Thus, one should not wonder that it was incapable of dealing with a book that, instead offering readily a âsingleâ interpretation, had several...
The Historiansâ Debate about the Holocaust in Hungary
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At the time of the first publication of Imre KertĂ©szâs SorstalansĂĄg (Fatelessness), the memory of the Holocaust in Hungary belonged mainly to the realm of private/ personal memory. After the Communist take-over in 1947â1949, the animated public discussions of the first post-war years on the uneasy questions of involvement, responsibility, moral and material re-compensation, etc., were adjourned...
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On the day when news agencies announced that the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded this year to a Hungarian writer called Imre Kert
Imre KertĂ©szâs Aesthetics of the Holocaust
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In his fiction, Imre KertĂ©sz sets himself the task of (re)presenting aesthetically both Nazi and Soviet and communist totalitarianism and he comments often on the fact that for him, as compared with other Auschwitz survivors, such as Paul Celan or Jean AmĂ©ry, who committed suicide, the notion preventing him from committing suicide was his experience of disillusion with âfreedomâ and democracy in the...
The Dichotomy of Perspectives in the Work of Imre Kert
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What Imre Kert
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As we continue to celebrate Imre KertĂ©szâs SorstalansĂĄg (Fatelessness), the first Hungarian-language novel to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, we also commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary on the eve of the enlargement of the European Union in 2004. The confluence of these major events cannot fail to evoke the memory of the massacre of the countryâs Jewish population...
Danilo KiĆĄ, Imre KertĂ©sz, and the Myth of the Holocaust
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In this paper, I present an analysis of how two Central European authors, Imre KertĂ©sz and Danilo KiĆĄ, relate to the Holocaust myth, what their reconsiderations about the myth are, and how they, with their work, become involved in the myth and inscribe themselves in it. I investigate what the points of reference in their different experiences and different literary interpretations of the...
Imre KertĂ©szâs JegyzĆkĂ¶nyv (Sworn Statement) and the Self Deprived of Itself
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The themes upon which existing analyses of Imre KertĂ©szâs oeuvre have been built would suggest the central problem contained in the authorâs works to be that of the constructability of personality and attendant questions regarding the nature and existence of freedom. It would be difficult to deny that the answers contained in...
Imre KertĂ©szâs Kaddish for a Child Not Born
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Discussing the work of artist Jochen Gerz, GĂ©rard Wajcman notes that its subject matter is memory, âmuch as others erect edifices in concrete or in ironâ (187). In Gerzâs work, Wajcman claims, the material and the meaning, or substance and subject, are one and the same, and this onenessâalbeit a oneness...
Imre KertĂ©szâs 2002 Nobel Prize for Literaturein the Print Media
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In this paper, I discuss aspects of media coverage in German-, Hungarian-, and English-language newspapers and magazines of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Imre Kert
Holocaust Literature and Imre Kert
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In order to place Imre KertĂ©szâs novel SorstalansĂĄg (Fatelessness) in a comparative cultural context, I discuss briefly representative Hungarian and foreign works dealing with the Holocaust. Anna Frankâs diary entry for Friday, 31 March 1944, reads: âHungary is occupied by German troops...
The Novelness of Imre KertĂ©szâs SorstalansĂĄg (Fatelessness)
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Imre KertĂ©sz said that living in the West in a free society, he probably would have not been able to write SorstalansĂĄg (Fatelessness) but would have tried to produce a âshowier fiction,â by breaking up time and narrating only powerful scenes (see âHeureka!â; in this paper, while I quote from the Wilson and Wilson translation of SorstalansĂĄg, Fateless, I am otherwise using the title of the correct...
The Media and Imre KertĂ©szâsNobel Prize in Literature
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The Nobel Prizeâthe crowning achievement of a literary careerâis an opportunity for the overall assessment or reassessment of a writerâs work and to situate him/her in a national or international literary and cultural context. Indeed, in the case of Imre KertĂ©sz, most international responses attempted to do exactly that...
Book Review Article: Jewish Identity and Anti-Semitism in Central European Culture
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As we know, Jewish thought and cultural production played over the centuries a significant role particularly in Central and Eastern European culture, and the Jews, a poly-lingual and culturally productive minority, often played the role of mediators. In the last few years a good amount of scholarship has been published...
A Bibliography of Imre KertĂ©szâs Oeuvre and Publications about His Work
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Bioprofiles of Contributors
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Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2005
Series Title: Comparative Cultural Studies
Series Editor Byline: Steven TĂ¶tĂ¶sy de Zepetnek