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The Afterlife of Holocaust Memory in Contemporary Literature and Culture
 
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The Afterlife of Holocaust Memory in Contemporary Literature and Culture
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
29 Sep 2010
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£65.00
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9780230581876
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

As living memories of the Holocaust die out with the generation that witnessed the event, practitioners of memory work have focused on the transmission of memory to the next generations. Recent Holocaust memorialisation, in the form of literature, museums, memorials and monuments, must make Holocaust memory meaningful for those born after the event. With this in mind, the arts of Holocaust memorialisation often provoke a sense of secondary memory or vicarious witnessing, an attempt to experience Holocaust memory or even trauma by proxy – in short, the remembrance of things not witnessed.

Recent academic theories of Holocaust memory and trauma are correspondent with these current memorial practices. The problem with this theoretical paradigm is that it tends to lose sight of the specificity of particular acts of remembering, the identities formed in relation to the remembrance of past events, and the ethical and political questions raised by those acts and identifications. This book identifies the ethical implications of such memory work where it becomes appropriative and universalising by scrutinizing theoretical approaches to the work of W.G. Sebald and Bernhard Schlink, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the museum and memorial architecture of Daniel Libeskind and Peter Eisenman, and generates a series of more self-reflexive readings of such representations of the Holocaust.


Description

As living memories of the Holocaust die out with the generation that witnessed the event, practitioners of memory work have focused on the transmission of memory to the next generations. Recent Holocaust memorialisation, in the form of literature, museums, memorials and monuments, must make Holocaust memory meaningful for those born after the event. With this in mind, the arts of Holocaust memorialisation often provoke a sense of secondary memory or vicarious witnessing, an attempt to experience Holocaust memory or even trauma by proxy – in short, the remembrance of things not witnessed.

Recent academic theories of Holocaust memory and trauma are correspondent with these current memorial practices. The problem with this theoretical paradigm is that it tends to lose sight of the specificity of particular acts of remembering, the identities formed in relation to the remembrance of past events, and the ethical and political questions raised by those acts and identifications. This book identifies the ethical implications of such memory work where it becomes appropriative and universalising by scrutinizing theoretical approaches to the work of W.G. Sebald and Bernhard Schlink, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the museum and memorial architecture of Daniel Libeskind and Peter Eisenman, and generates a series of more self-reflexive readings of such representations of the Holocaust.


Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface
Theory After Memory
On Reading Sebald: The Rings of Saturn and Austerlitz
Holocaust Memory and the Air War: W.G. Sebald's Luftkrieg und Literatur ('Air War and Literature: Zürich Lectures')
Grey Zones of Memory?
Reading the Perpetrator: Bernhard Schlink's Der Vorleser (The Reader) and Die Heimkehr (Homecoming)
Countermonumental Memory
Photography and Memory in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Conclusion
Bibliography


Authors

RICHARD CROWNSHAW is a Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. His teaching and research interests comprise nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century American literature, Holocaust studies, and cultural memory studies. He has published numerous essays on Holocaust-related literature and is co-editor of The Future of Memory.