Tony Harrison and the Holocaust

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Overview

"Theodor Adorno's apparent dismissal of post-Holocaust poetry as 'impossible' or 'barbaric' arises from one of the most misquoted passages of twentieth-century philosophy. This book argues that Tony Harrison's poetry is barbaric, reinterpreting Adorno's statement to allow the possibility that Harrison's awkward and embarrassing poetics might be re-evaluated as committed responses to the worst horrors of twentieth-century history." "Moving away from the customary critical focus on issues of class, this book presents Harrison's engagement with the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the prospect of global annihilation as a commitment to oppose the dangers of linguistic silence. Harrison's texts enter into arguments about the ethics of representing traumatic incidents that still haunt the contemporary; his writing is mediated by his reception of the events through newsreels as a child, and his adoption and subversion, as an adult poet, of traditional poetic forms such as the elegy and sonnet." This is the first book on Harrison to draw on archival sources such as the Alan Ross letters, the manuscripts in the Robinson library and the Northern Arts collection.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Antony Rowland is Professor in English at the University of Salford.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
1. Cinema, Masturbation and Peter Pan: A Non-Victim Approach to the Holocaust 33
2. Amorous Discourse and 'Bolts of Annihilation' in the American Poems 87
3. Mourning and Annihilation in the Family Sonnets 144
4. The Fragility of Memory 195
5. Culture/Barbarism Dialectics in Harrison's Poetry 248
Bibliography 307
Index 322
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