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The Longest Shadow
 
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The Longest Shadow
In The Aftermath of the Holocaust
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
19 Dec 2002
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£26.50
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9780312295684
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This is a collection of essays, originally published in hardcover by Indiana in 1996. The essays focus on representation, memory, and the struggle for meaning in the wake of the Holocaust. In this series of interlinked essays, Geoffrey Hartman explores life and culture, meaning and memory in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Taking up the anguished question of many survivors, 'has the world learned anything?', Hartman discusses issues of representation and ethics, the relations between first- and second-generation witnesses to the events, and how artists, scholars, and teachers have represented and transmitted these extreme experiences. How, he asks, do we convert our knowledge about the Holocaust into a thoughtful and potent understanding? Writing with his characteristic intelligence and grace, Hartman takes us from Bitburg to Schindler's List, from Vichy to battles over public memory. He also writes in detail about his experience in the Kindertransport (in which tens of thousands of European Jewish children were sent by their families to safety in England shortly before the outbreak of the war), and his wife's experience in Auschwitz.


Description

This is a collection of essays, originally published in hardcover by Indiana in 1996. The essays focus on representation, memory, and the struggle for meaning in the wake of the Holocaust. In this series of interlinked essays, Geoffrey Hartman explores life and culture, meaning and memory in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Taking up the anguished question of many survivors, 'has the world learned anything?', Hartman discusses issues of representation and ethics, the relations between first- and second-generation witnesses to the events, and how artists, scholars, and teachers have represented and transmitted these extreme experiences. How, he asks, do we convert our knowledge about the Holocaust into a thoughtful and potent understanding? Writing with his characteristic intelligence and grace, Hartman takes us from Bitburg to Schindler's List, from Vichy to battles over public memory. He also writes in detail about his experience in the Kindertransport (in which tens of thousands of European Jewish children were sent by their families to safety in England shortly before the outbreak of the war), and his wife's experience in Auschwitz.


Reviews

'Hartman's essays are a sustained and nuanced critique of realism's refusal, carried in the name of 'truth,' to set limits to representation. . . . It is a book that carefully analyzes and weighs complex issues; it is infused with a sense of moral responsibility and passion without falling into either pathos or moralizing.' - Judaism

'Hartman has been among the American intellectuals who have struggled most fruitfully with the question of 'forgiveness' or 'reconciliation.'' - The Nation

'The concerns discussed here are concerns for us all...The Longest Shadow illuminates the dangers inherent in representations of the Holocaust and of the obverse, the denial, of that unique part of our history.' - Pauline Elkes, Staffordshire University

'[Hartman] lucidly evokes the damage done by the Shoah to our trust in language and social institutions, and the defence of art that he offers is all the stronger for his recognition of the historical abyss that it can neither evade nor represent adequately.' - Times Literary Supplement

'Perhaps of most interest to historians in the literary scholar Geoffrey Hartman's collection of essays, is the recurring theme of the value of survivor testimony as a source...But there is more than simply a sense of functional utility to the historian in collecting oral testimony. For Hartman there is an ethical imperative to listening to the stories of the survivors in the present.' - History Today


Contents

Introduction
The Longest Shadow
The Weight of What Happened
Darkness Visible
Bitburg
The Voice of Vichy
The Cinema Animal: On Spielberg's Schindler's List
Public Memory and Its Discontents
The Book of the Destruction
Learning from Survivors
Holocaust Testimony, Art, and Trauma


Authors

GEOFFREY HARTMAN is a noted literary critic, Sterling Professor of English & Comparative Literature and Director of the Holocaust video testimony project at Yale. He left Germany as a child as part of the kindertransport.