The Language of Silence: West German Literature and the Holocaust

By Ernestine Schlant | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction

1.
Ilse Aichinger in Klaus Briegleb and Sigrid Weigel, eds. Gegenwartsliteratur seit 1968 (Munich: dtv, 1992) 47.
2.
Jean-François Lyotard, Heidegger and "The Jews" (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988).
3.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "Holocaust," derived from the Greek, as a "complete consumption by fire, …complete destruction, esp. of large number of persons; a great slaughter or massacre" and adds that "the specific application (i.e. the mass murder of the Jews by the Nazis in the war of 1939-1945) was introduced by historians during the 1950s…" A brief exposition of the origins of the term is found in Susan E. Cernyak-Spatz, German Holocaust Literature (New York: Peter Lang, 1985) 9-10. Dominick LaCapra has discussed the problems associated with the use of the term "Holocaust" in detail in his Representing the Holocaust: History, Theory, Trauma (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994) 45 n. 4. Peter Haidu rejects "Holocaust" as much as "Shoah" and prefers to speak of "the Event," as explained in his "The Dialectics of Unspeakability," in Saul Friedländer, ed., Probing the Limits of Representation: Nazism and the "Final Solution" (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992) 279. On the inappropriate use of the word "Holocaust" in the German language, see Ralph Gehrke's agreement with Detlev Claussen, who feels that as a foreign word the term allows a dissociation from what it designates. Ralph Gehrke, "Es ist nicht wahr, daß die Geschichte nichts lehren könnte, ihr fehlen bloß die Schüler," Der Deutschunterricht, Jg. 44, 3 (1992) 9211.1.
4.
Jean Améry, "On the Necessity and Impossibility of Being a Jew," in his At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities, trans. Sidney and Stella P. Rosenfeld (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980) 86.
5.
Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, By Words Alone: The Holocaust in Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980) 10.
6.
Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983) 178.
7.
Stuart Parkes in Arthur Williams, Stuart Parkes, and Roland Smith, eds., Literature on the Threshold: The German Novel in the 1980s (New York: Berg, 1990) 6.
8.
Peter Schneider, "Concrete and Irony," Harper's Magazine (April 1990) 56.
9.
Jean-Paul Bier, Auschwitz et les nouvelles littératures allemandes (Brussels: Editions de l'Université de Brussels, 1979) 217.
10.
Lawrence L. Langer, The Holocaust and the Literary Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975) 3.
11.
Mary Nola, "The Historikerstreit and Social History," new german critique 44 (Spring/Summer 1988) 78.
12.
Wolfdietrich Schnurre's Jenö war mein Freund (1960) is one of the few exceptions.
13.
Peter Haidu elaborates this point from a deconstructive perspective in "The Dialectics of Unspeakability" when he says: "Silence resembles words…in that each production of silence must be judged in its own contexts, in its own situations of enunciation. Silence

-245-

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The Language of Silence: West German Literature and the Holocaust
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • One - The First Postwar Decade 21
  • Two - Documentary Literature 51
  • Three - Autobiographical Novels 80
  • Four - Autobiographical Novels 99
  • Five - The War on the Eastern Front 123
  • Six - Ruptures and Displacements 149
  • Seven - Restitution of Personal Identity? 166
  • Eight - Speeches and Controversies 188
  • Nine - Post-Unification 209
  • Conclusion 235
  • Notes 245
  • Selected Bibliography 262
  • Index 273
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