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Nazism, the Holocaust, and the Quest for the Other

Nazism, the Holocaust, and the Quest for the Other COMPARATIVE LITERATURE / 280 learn through dialogue with, or testimony from, the victims of the Holocaust? How is the trauma and testimony of these victims comparable to that of the victims of more recent examples of extreme political violence? Can an understanding of the horrors of Nazism and the experiences of the victims help us arrive at an authentic and profoundly human intersubjectivity? And whether in the form of fiction, poetry, or memoir, how does one write about such an event? Moreover, what is the role of the reader or critic, who can be seen to act as a kind of interlocutor or “co-witness” to the victims and witnesses of these texts? What moral and ethical parameters and limitations should govern critical responses to such texts? These are just some of the difficult and complex questions raised in the four works under review. The first two books deal primarily with “testimony” in the broadest sense and the role of the witness and critic. The last two deal most centrally with the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. Stevan Weine’s Testimony after Catastrophe: Narrating the Traumas of Political Violence and Michael G. Levine’s The Belated Witness: Literature, Testimony, and the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Nazism, the Holocaust, and the Quest for the Other

Comparative Literature , Volume 60 (3) – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2008 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-60-3-279
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE / 280 learn through dialogue with, or testimony from, the victims of the Holocaust? How is the trauma and testimony of these victims comparable to that of the victims of more recent examples of extreme political violence? Can an understanding of the horrors of Nazism and the experiences of the victims help us arrive at an authentic and profoundly human intersubjectivity? And whether in the form of fiction, poetry, or memoir, how does one write about such an event? Moreover, what is the role of the reader or critic, who can be seen to act as a kind of interlocutor or “co-witness” to the victims and witnesses of these texts? What moral and ethical parameters and limitations should govern critical responses to such texts? These are just some of the difficult and complex questions raised in the four works under review. The first two books deal primarily with “testimony” in the broadest sense and the role of the witness and critic. The last two deal most centrally with the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. Stevan Weine’s Testimony after Catastrophe: Narrating the Traumas of Political Violence and Michael G. Levine’s The Belated Witness: Literature, Testimony, and the

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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