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Fantasies of witnessing : postwar efforts to experience the Holocaust

Author: Gary Weissman
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Advance uncorrected proofView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Fantasies of Witnessing explores how and why those deeply interested in the Holocaust, yet with no direct, familial connection to it, endeavor to experience its horror vicariously through sites or texts designed to make the event "real" for nonwitnesses. Gary Weissman argues that far from overwhelming nonwitnesses with its magnitude of horror, the Holocaust threatens to feel distant and unreal. A prevailing  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Gary Weissman
OCLC Number: 984127701
Description: xiii, 261 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Introduction: To feel the horror --
Reading Wiesel --
The Holocaust experience --
Shoah illustrated. Section 1: Steven Spielberg and the sensitive line. Section 2: Claude Lanzmann and the Ring of Fire. Conclusion: the horror, the horror.
Responsibility: Gary Weissman.

Abstract:

"Fantasies of Witnessing explores how and why those deeply interested in the Holocaust, yet with no direct, familial connection to it, endeavor to experience its horror vicariously through sites or texts designed to make the event "real" for nonwitnesses. Gary Weissman argues that far from overwhelming nonwitnesses with its magnitude of horror, the Holocaust threatens to feel distant and unreal. A prevailing rhetoric of "secondary" memory and trauma, he contends, and efforts to portray the Holocaust as an immediate and personal experience, are responses to an encroaching sense of unreality: 'In America, we are haunted not by the traumatic impact of the Holocaust, but by its absence. When we take an interest in the Holocaust, we are not overcoming a fearful aversion to its horror, but endeavoring to actually feel the horror of what otherwise eludes us.'" -- back cover.

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