Suffering Witness: The Quandary of Responsibility after the Irreparable

Suffering Witness: The Quandary of Responsibility after the Irreparable

by James Hatley
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791447065

ISBN-13: 9780791447062

Pub. Date: 10/28/2000

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Conceptualizes the question of witness and responsibility, following the Holocaust, using continental philosophy, theology, and literary theory.

Drawing on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, James Hatley uses the prose of Primo Levi and Tadeusz Borowski, as well as the poetry of Paul Celan, to question why witnessing the Shoah is so pressing a responsibility

Overview

Conceptualizes the question of witness and responsibility, following the Holocaust, using continental philosophy, theology, and literary theory.

Drawing on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, James Hatley uses the prose of Primo Levi and Tadeusz Borowski, as well as the poetry of Paul Celan, to question why witnessing the Shoah is so pressing a responsibility for anyone living in its aftermath. He argues that the witnessing of irreparable loss leaves one in an irresoluble quandary but that the attentiveness of that witness resists the destructive legacy of annihilation.

“In this new and sensitive synthesis of scrupulous thinking about the Holocaust (beginning with scruples about the term Holocaust itself), James Hatley approaches all the major questions surrounding our overwhelming inadequacy in the aftermath of the irreparable. If there is anything unique (in a non-trivial sense) about the Holocaust, surely it is the imperious moral urgency that compels those who contemplate it to revise their view of what it means to be human, and to bear witness to such an event.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791447062
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Series:
SUNY series in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction

1. The Imperative to Witness the Haftling

2. The Scene of Annihilation: Testimony's Ethical Resistance

3. The Transcendence of the Face

4. Testimony and History: The Crisis of Address

5. Witnessing Trauma: Suffering the Perpetrator's Address

6. Blaspheming G-d: Facing the Persecuted

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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