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Holocaust Representation : Art within the Limits of History and Ethics - Berel Lang

Holocaust Representation

Art within the Limits of History and Ethics

Paperback Published: 15th September 2003
ISBN: 9780801877452
Number Of Pages: 192
For Ages: 22+ years old

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Since Theodor Adorno's attack on the writing of poetry "after Auschwitz," artists and theorists have faced the problem of reconciling the moral enormity of the Nazi genocide with the artist's search for creative freedom. In Holocaust Representation, Berel Lang addresses the relation between ethics and art in the context of contemporary discussions of the Holocaust. Are certain aesthetic means or genres "out of bounds" for the Holocaust? To what extent should artists be constrained by the "actuality" of history -- and is the Holocaust unique in raising these problems of representation?

The dynamics between artistic form and content generally hold even more intensely, Lang argues, when art's subject has the moral weight of an event like the Holocaust. As authors reach beyond the standard conventions for more adequate means of representation, Holocaust writings frequently display a blurring of genres. The same impulse manifests itself in repeated claims of historical as well as artistic authenticity. Informing Lang's discussion are the recent conflicts about the truth-status of Benjamin Wilkomirski's "memoir" Fragments and the comic fantasy of Roberto Benigni's film Life Is Beautiful. Lang views Holocaust representation as limited by a combination of ethical and historical constraints. As art that violates such constraints often lapses into sentimentality or melodrama, clichA(c) or kitsch, this becomes all the more objectionable when its subject is moral enormity. At an extreme, all Holocaust representation must face the test of whether its referent would not be more authentically expressed by silence -- that is, by the absence of representation.

Industry Reviews

Holocaust Representation tackles the thorny subject of ethics and art as they bear on works commemorating or referring to the Holocaust. -- James Malpas * Art Newspaper *

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Art within the Limitsp. 1
Image and Fact: The Problem of Holocaust Representation
Writing the Holocaust: Toward the Condition of Historyp. 17
Holocaust Texts and the Blurred Genresp. 35
The Limits of Representation and the Representation of Limitsp. 51
The Facts of Fiction: Three Case Studies in Holocaust Writingp. 72
The Importance of Holocaust Misrepresentationp. 83
Eye and Mind: Reflecting the Holocaust
The Arts of Historyp. 95
Translating the Holocaust: For Whom Does One Write?p. 125
The Post-Holocaust vs. the Postmodern: Evil Inside and Outside Historyp. 140
Art Worship and Its Imagesp. 158
Indexp. 169
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801877452
ISBN-10: 0801877458
Series: Art Within the Limits of History and Ethics
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 15th September 2003
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.0
Weight (kg): 0.25

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