From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After by Ruth Leys | 9780691143323 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After

From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After

by Ruth Leys
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691143323

ISBN-13: 9780691143323

Pub. Date: 09/28/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Why has shame recently displaced guilt as a dominant emotional reference in the West? After the Holocaust, survivors often reported feeling guilty for living when so many others had died, and in the 1960s psychoanalysts and psychiatrists in the United States helped make survivor guilt a defining feature of the "survivor syndrome." Yet the idea of survivor guilt has

Overview

Why has shame recently displaced guilt as a dominant emotional reference in the West? After the Holocaust, survivors often reported feeling guilty for living when so many others had died, and in the 1960s psychoanalysts and psychiatrists in the United States helped make survivor guilt a defining feature of the "survivor syndrome." Yet the idea of survivor guilt has always caused trouble, largely because it appears to imply that, by unconsciously identifying with the perpetrator, victims psychically collude with power.

In From Guilt to Shame, Ruth Leys has written the first genealogical-critical study of the vicissitudes of the concept of survivor guilt and the momentous but largely unrecognized significance of guilt's replacement by shame. Ultimately, Leys challenges the theoretical and empirical validity of the shame theory proposed by figures such as Silvan Tomkins, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Giorgio Agamben, demonstrating that while the notion of survivor guilt has depended on an intentionalist framework, shame theorists share a problematic commitment to interpreting the emotions, including shame, in antiintentionalist and materialist terms.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691143323
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2009
Series:
20/21 Series
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

INTRODUCTION: From Guilt to Shame 1

CHAPTER ONE: Survivor Guilt 17
The Slap 17
She Demanded to Be Killed Herself and Bitten to Death 24
Identification with the Aggressor 32
Survivor Guilt 38
The Dead 47

CHAPTER TWO: Dismantling Survivor Guilt 56
"Radical Nakedness" 56
The Survivor as Witness 61
Dramaturgies of the Self 68
The Subject of Imitation 76
Psychoanalytic Revisions 83

CHAPTER THREE: Image and Trauma 93
Imagery and PTSD 93
Miscellaneous Symptoms 99
Stress Films 106
PTSD and Shame 118

CHAPTER FOUR: Shame Now 123
Shame's Revival 123
Shame and Specularity 126
Shame and the Self 129
Autotelism 133
The Evidence 137
Objectless Emotions 145
The Primacy of Personal Differences 150
Posthistoricism 154

CHAPTER FIVE: The Shame of Auschwitz 157
The Gray Zone 157
"That Match Is Never Over" 162
The Matter of Testimony 165
Shame 170
The Flush 174

Conclusion 180
Appendix 187
Index 193

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