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The Afterlife of John Brown (review)

The Afterlife of John Brown (review) 08-Reviews 2/16/07 11:34 AM Page 114 114 Biography 30.1 (Winter 2007) compares Salomon’s operetta to Chantal Akerman’s films. For Hornstein, the power of both texts stems from their refusal of closure, “our participating in activating the connections in the work and with ourselves . . . ensures that any potential boundaries, any hints of closure and resolution, are never defined . . . [and that] . . . we continue to keep in check the opacity of deep memory . . . to prevent the Holocaust from being rationally reduced to a single intel- ligible whole” (139). Like Pollock, then, Hornstein reads Salomon’s paintings as producing and shaping Holocaust memory. In her wonderful, wide-ranging contribution, Mieke Bal tackles the question implicit in many of the articles in the collection about the ethics of aestheticizing catastrophe. She asks “Which catastrophes can be represented, and how can they be represented without offending the delicacy of taste?” (187). Bal argues that Salomon helps answer these questions by bringing “aesthetics and catastrophe to bear on one another” (193). Thus, as do many of the essays in the anthology, Bal uses Salomon’s text to address larger questions around trauma and its representa- tions. The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

The Afterlife of John Brown (review)

Biography , Volume 30 (1) – Apr 16, 2007

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

08-Reviews 2/16/07 11:34 AM Page 114 114 Biography 30.1 (Winter 2007) compares Salomon’s operetta to Chantal Akerman’s films. For Hornstein, the power of both texts stems from their refusal of closure, “our participating in activating the connections in the work and with ourselves . . . ensures that any potential boundaries, any hints of closure and resolution, are never defined . . . [and that] . . . we continue to keep in check the opacity of deep memory . . . to prevent the Holocaust from being rationally reduced to a single intel- ligible whole” (139). Like Pollock, then, Hornstein reads Salomon’s paintings as producing and shaping Holocaust memory. In her wonderful, wide-ranging contribution, Mieke Bal tackles the question implicit in many of the articles in the collection about the ethics of aestheticizing catastrophe. She asks “Which catastrophes can be represented, and how can they be represented without offending the delicacy of taste?” (187). Bal argues that Salomon helps answer these questions by bringing “aesthetics and catastrophe to bear on one another” (193). Thus, as do many of the essays in the anthology, Bal uses Salomon’s text to address larger questions around trauma and its representa- tions. The

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 16, 2007

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