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How to approach the Holocaust and its relationship to late twentieth-century society? While some stress the impossibility of comprehending this event, others attempt representations in forms as different as the nonfiction novel (and Hollywood blockbuster) Schindler's List, the documentary Shoah, and the comic book Maus. This problem is at the center of Michael Rothberg's book, a focused account of the psychic, intellectual, and cultural aftermath of the Holocaust.
Drawing on a wide range of texts, Michael Rothberg puts forth an overarching framework for understanding representations of the Holocaust. Through close readings of such writers and thinkers as Theodor Adorno, Maurice Blanchot, Ruth Klüger, Charlotte Delbo, Art Spiegelman, and Philip Roth and an examination of films by Steven Spielberg and Claude Lanzmann, Rothberg demonstrates how the Holocaust as a traumatic event makes three fundamental demands on representation: a demand for documentation, a demand for reflection on the limits of representation, and a demand for engagement with the public sphere and commodity culture. As it establishes new grounding for Holocaust studies, his book provides a new understanding of realism, modernism, and postmodernism as responses to the demands of history.
Michael Rothberg is assistant professor of English at the University of Miami.
Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press
|Introduction: The Demands of Holocaust Representation||1|
|Pt. I||Modernism "After Auschwitz"||17|
|1||After Adorno: Culture in the Wake of Catastrophe||25|
|2||Before Auschwitz: Maurice Blanchot, From Now On||59|
|Pt. II||Realism in "The Concentrationary Universe"||97|
|3||"The Barbed Wire of the Postwar World": Ruth Kluger's Traumatic Realism||107|
|4||Unbearable Witness: Charlotte Delbo's Traumatic Timescapes||141|
|Pt. III||Postmodernism, or "The Year of the Holocaust"||179|
|5||Reading Jewish: Philip Roth, Art Spiegelman, and Holocaust Postmemory||187|
|6||"Touch an Event to Begin": Americanizing the Holocaust||221|
|Conclusion. After the "Final Solution": From the "Jewish Question" to Jewish Questioning||265|