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A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction

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A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is the difference between writing a novel about the Holocaust and fabricating a memoir? Do narratives about the Holocaust have a special obligation to be 'truthful'--that is, faithful to the facts of history?

Or is it okay to lie in such works?

In her provocative study A Thousand Darknesses, Ruth Franklin investigates these questions as they arise in the most significant works of Holocaust fiction, from Tadeusz Borowski's Auschwitz stories to Jonathan Safran Foer's postmodernist family history. Franklin argues that the memory-obsessed culture of the last few decades has led us to mistakenly focus on testimony as the only valid form of Holocaust writing. As even the most canonical texts have come under scrutiny for their fidelity to the facts, we have lost sight of the essential role that imagination plays in the creation of any literary work, including the memoir.

Taking a fresh look at memoirs by Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi, and examining novels by writers such as Piotr Rawicz, Jerzy Kosinski, W.G. Sebald, and Wolfgang Koeppen, Franklin makes a persuasive case for literature as an equally vital vehicle for understanding the Holocaust (and for memoir as an equally ambiguous form). The result is a study of immense depth and range that offers a lucid view of an often cloudy field.

About the Author

Ruth Franklin is a senior editor at The New Republic.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part One: The Witnesses

Chapter One Angry Young Man: Tadeusz Borowski

Chapter Two The Alchemist: Primo Levi

Chapter Three The Kabbalist in the Death Camps: Elie Wiesel

Chapter Four The Anti-Witness: Piotr Rawicz

Part Two: The Winding Border

Chapter Five The Art of the Self: Jerzy Kosinski

Chapter Six Child of Auschwitz: Imre Kertesz

Chapter Seven Oskar Schindler and His List

Chapter Eight Wolfgang Koeppen

Chapter Nine W.G. Sebald

Part Three: The Future

Chapter Ten Bernhard Schlink

Chapter Eleven Identity Theft: The Second Generation

Chapter Twelve: The Third Generation?

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195313963
Author:
Franklin, Ruth
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Franklin, Ruth
Author:
null, Ruth
Subject:
Jewish
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Jewish studies
Subject:
Holocaust, jewish (1939-1945), in literature
Subject:
Memory in literature
Subject:
Literature/English | World Literature | Jewish
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20101131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
6.4 x 9.3 x 1.1 in 1.15 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust
Religion » Judaism » Holocaust

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