By Michael Rothberg
Literary Theory/Cultural experiences
Analyzes the influence of old trauma on modern tradition.
How to technique the Holocaust and its courting to past due twentieth-century society? whereas a few rigidity the impossibility of comprehending this occasion, others test representations in kinds as diverse because the nonfiction novel (and Hollywood blockbuster) Schindler's record, the documentary Shoah, and the comedian publication Maus. This challenge is on the middle of Michael Rothberg's ebook, a centred account of the psychic, highbrow, and cultural aftermath of the Holocaust.
Drawing on a variety of texts, Michael Rothberg places forth an overarching framework for knowing representations of the Holocaust. via shut readings of such writers and thinkers as Theodor Adorno, Maurice Blanchot, Ruth Klger, Charlotte Delbo, paintings Spiegelman, and Philip Roth and an exam of flicks through Steven Spielberg and Claude Lanzmann, Rothberg demonstrates how the Holocaust as a hectic occasion makes 3 primary calls for on illustration: a requirement for documentation, a requirement for mirrored image at the limits of illustration, and a requirement for engagement with the general public sphere and commodity tradition. because it establishes new grounding for Holocaust reviews, his e-book offers a brand new figuring out of realism, modernism, and postmodernism as responses to the calls for of background.
Michael Rothberg is assistant professor of English on the collage of Miami.
Translation Inquiries: collage of Minnesota Press
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Additional resources for Traumatic realism : the demands of Holocaust representation
He critically aligns himself with postmodern theory, arguing that it "represents] a kind of translation into more global terms of Adorno's famous dictum that there could be no poetry after Auschwitz. ' " Santner considers aesthetic, political, cognitive, and social practices as part of that iterative chain of what has becomes impossible: "an inability to tolerate difference, heterogeneity, nonmastery" (Stranded Objects, 8-9). He thus understands the phrase "after Auschwitz" as signifying a fundamental transformation in culture that displaces the conditions of, and leading up to, Auschwitz.
Thus, even a sympathetic critic, Fredric Jameson, criticizes Adorno's postwar defense of high modernism as reactionary (see his "Reflections in Conclusion" and my discussion in chapter 1). The influence of Adorno's modernist-inflected thinking in discussions of the Holocaust suggests that the event may introduce a certain nonsynchronicity into considerations of theories of the modern. Specifically, the persistence of the question of modernism and the need for self-reflexivity about culture in the wake of catastrophe demonstrate that Lyotard's story of the shift from the modern to the postmodern as a decline in master narratives was always itself a master narrative — that is, a story that glossed over its own contradictions and discontinuities.
Beckett's chronotope is thus one of space and time's tendential erasure — not an abstract negation of particularity, but a concrete process affecting "consciousness3 power to conceive [history], the power to remember" (Notes, 1:246-47). This chronotope, while certainly incorporating the temporality of the atomic age, among other factors, has intimate ties with the post-Holocaust era. Hiroshima and Auschwitz combine to transform living into half-life, or better, afterlife: "After the Second World War, everything, including a resurrected culture, has been destroyed without realizing it; humankind continues to vegetate, creeping along after events that even the survivors cannot really survive, on a rubbish heap that has made even reflection on one's damaged state useless" (Notes, 1:244).