Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive
In this book the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben looks closely at the literature of the survivors of Auschwitz, probing the philosophical and ethical questions raised by their testimony.
"In its form, this book is a kind of perpetual commentary on testimony. It did not seem possible to proceed otherwise. At a certain point, it became clear that testimony contained at its core an essential lacuna; in other words, the survivors bore witness to something it is impossible to bear witness to. As a consequence, commenting on survivors' testimony necessarily meant interrogating this lacuna or, more precisely, attempting to listen to it. Listening to something absent did not prove fruitless work for this author. Above all, it made it necessary to clear away almost all the doctrines that, since Auschwitz, have been advanced in the name of ethics."
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absolute act of speech already Amery aporia appears archive assume auctor Auschwitz auto-affection bear witness becomes Benveniste Bettelheim 1960 biological biopolitical biopower Caeiro caesura called camp coincide collective guilt complete witness consciousness constitutes dead language death define deportees dignity disjunction drowned ethics everything existence experience expression extermination extermination camps external extreme situation face feel Fernando Pessoa Foucault function gas chambers gesture give glossolalia glossolalic Gorgon Greek guilt happened Heidegger heteronyms holocaust human Hurbinek ibid implies impossibility of speaking incapacity infinite inhuman inside insofar Jews juridical kind langue Levi Levi's living longer meaning moral Musel Muselmann Muslim Nazi ness never non-human one's oneself organic paradigm paradox passive person poet possible precisely Primo Levi prisoners pseudonym pure refers remains remnant responsibility semantics of enunciation sense shame Sonderkommando Starets statement survival survivor taking place term testimony theodicy thing tion transformed unsayable wanted words writes zone