Aharon Appelfeld's Fiction: Acknowledging the Holocaust

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Indiana University Press, Jan 17, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 224 pages
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How can a fictional text adequately or meaningfully represent the events of the Holocaust? Drawing on philosopher Stanley Cavell's ideas about "acknowledgment" as a respectful attentiveness to the world, Emily Miller Budick develops a penetrating philosophical analysis of major works by internationally prominent Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld. Through sensitive discussions of the novels Badenheim 1939, The Iron Tracks, The Age of Wonders, and Tzili, and the autobiographical work The Story of My Life, Budick reveals the compelling art with which Appelfeld renders the sights, sensations, and experiences of European Jewish life preceding, during, and after the Second World War. She argues that it is through acknowledging the incompleteness of our knowledge and understanding of the catastrophe that Appelfeld's fiction produces not only its stunning aesthetic power but its affirmation and faith in both the human and the divine. This beautifully written book provides a moving introduction to the work of an important and powerful writer and an enlightening meditation on how fictional texts deepen our understanding of historical events.

Jewish Literature and Culture -- Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor

 

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Contents

Historical Psychoanalyticand Philosophical Approachesto Writing on the Holocaust
1
Badenheim 1939
27
The Iron Tracks
50
The Age of Wonders
78
Tzili The Story of a Life
106
The Story of a Life
153
Notes
181
Works by Appelfeld Cited in Text
191
Index
193
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Emily Miller Budick holds the Ann and Joseph Adelman Chair in American Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is author of Fiction and Historical Consciousness: The American Romance Tradition and editor of Modern Hebrew Fiction by Gershon Shaked (IUP, 2000) and Ideology and Jewish Identity in Israeli and American Literature.

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