Gendered Testimonies of the Holocaust

Gendered Testimonies of the Holocaust : Writing Life

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


Gendered Testimonies of the Holocaust: Writing Life considers the gendered dimension of the phenomenon of writing as a means of speaking to or for others and for oneself in life-affirming identity. Rather than reading testimony as an internalization of death, this book demonstrates that testimony involves transformation of muteness into written more

Product details

  • Hardback | 134 pages
  • 161 x 238 x 15mm | 326g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739190075
  • 9780739190074

Review quote

Schweitzer (comparative literature, Shenandoah Univ.) reflects on the poetry and prose Paul Celan, Charlotte Delbo, Olga Lengyel, Gisella Perl, and Dan Pagis wrote as testimony to the suffering of women and children who died in German concentration camps in WW II. Drawing on writings of Derrida, Levinas, Lyotard, and Freud, Schweitzer examines, as she writes in the epilogue, the relations "between the subject and other, and the text and its other." In the context of the Holocaust, she argues, "writing [is] survival ... an affirmation of life." In Celan's poem "Sprich auch Du," Schweitzer shows the pivotal role of language as a constructive agent, an advancer of Nazi Germany's anti-Semitic ideology. In looking at sadistic infanticide experiments, the author makes palpable the suffering inflicted on the minds and bodies of the mothers who were forced to abort their unborn without any palliative mediation. Though Schweitzer focuses in particular on the female, this volume illuminates the enormity of the atrocity Nazi's perpetrated on its victims, regardless of gender, sexual, artistic, ethnic, religious, or intellectual identity... Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. CHOICE This sensitive and affirming work offers profound insights into the complexities and possibilities of survival. In exquisite readings of texts that emerge from the Holocaust, Petra Schweitzer shows us how writing and survival are inextricably linked, and how the specificity of one historical event can teach us about the struggles with survival that extend beyond it. At the heart of Schweitzer's intense and compelling book is ultimately an affirmation of life from the very heart of death, an affirmation life, and of writing, in an era of catastrophic history. -- Cathy Caruth, Cornell University, author of Literature in the Ashes of History and Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History Gendered Testimonies of the Holocaust: Writing Life is a deeply personal yet theoretically nuanced encounter with some of the most unforgettable texts of Holocaust literature. Pagis, Celan, Delbo, Lengyel, Perl... Schweitzer's postmemorial witness conveys both the fragility and resilience of these testifying voices, in which trauma has been refracted through poetic imagination, lyric sensibility, and ethical commitment. The author reveals that the source of their enduring power is the trace of the maternal, the gentle breath of feminine presence in the texts penned by survivors, which envelops and cradles their broken bodies and wounded words, carrying the unbearable memories out of the darkest shadows and into the unconditional affirmation of life. -- Dorota Glowacka, University of King's College, Canadashow more

About Petra M. Schweitzer

Petra M. Schweitzer is associate professor of comparative literature at Shenandoah more

Table of contents

1. A Mother's Testimony as a Dwelling Place-Dan Pagis 2. Remembrance of the M/other/tongue-Paul Celan 3. The Maternal Function of Giving Testimony-Charlotte Delbo 4. Embodied Existence of Mothers-Gisella Perl and Olga Lengyelshow more