Partial Answers - Homepage Journal of Literature and The History of Ideas The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Publications

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

 Volume 11/1
 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

 Volume 5/2
 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

 Volume 4/1
 January 2006

 Volume 3/2
 June 2005

 Volume 3/1
 January 2005

 Volume 2/2
 June 2004

 Volume 2/1
 January 2004

 Volume 1/2
 June 2003

 Volume 1/1
 January 2003

 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Sounding Postmodernity
 Jarmila Mildorf

 Narrativity and Sound in German Radio Play Adaptations of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy
 Till Kinzel

 Non-Sovereign Voices in Friederike Mayröcker’s Aural Texts
 Inge Arteel

 Singing Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
 Anahita Rouyan

 Being Silent, Doing Nothing
 Agatha Frischmuth

 Musical Macrostructures in The Gold Bug Variations and Orfeo by Richard Powers; or, Toward a Media-Conscious Audionarratology
 A. Elisabeth Reichel

 New Modes of Listening
 Emily Petermann

 Narrating Sounds
 Jarmila Mildorf and Till Kinzel

Get Adobe Reader

Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 4, Number 1 (January 2006) : 79--106
Aharon Appelfeld and the Problem of Holocaust Fiction

Bernard Harrison
Rubric A: Narrative as a Way of Thinking

Abstract

 

The philosopher Berel Lang offers powerful arguments for the conclusion that there can be no useful fictional treatment of the Holocaust. However, he notes that three writers (Celan, Appelfeld, and Borowski) escape the force of these arguments. Lang is prepared to grant that, in such cases, “literary and moral genius” may enable a writer to “transcend” the “supposedly intrinsic” limitations suggested by abstract philosophical argument; but leaves open the question what such “genius” consists in. This essay is an attempt to provide an answer to that question for the specific case of Aharon Appelfeld. Appelfeld’s fictions introduce their readers into the fabric of Jewish life in Central Europe immediately prior to the catastrophe, to the extent of allowing them to feel in propria persona, and thus to attain knowledge-of, rather than merely knowledge-about, the tensions constituting the situational framework within which those lives were lived. Appelfeld’s fictions offer a way of recovering the individuality, as persons rather than numbers, of those whom the Shoah destroyed, because individuality displays itself, inter alia, in the varying of individual response to a common situation. Such recovery is relevant to our moral understanding of the Shoah, it is argued, because what is morally important about the representations of the Shoah is not merely the destruction, but also the nature of what was destroyed. The essay concludes with brief discussions of the relative merits, in this connection, of fiction and memoir, and of the criticisms levelled against Appelfeld’s work by M. A. Bernstein and others.


 All Rights Reserved to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem- Partial Answers © 2004. Powered By Priza

The Johns Hopkins University Press