English 100

Junior Seminar: Representing the Holocaust�A Question of Genre

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2008 Liu, Sarah
MW 4-5:30 106 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Amery, Jean: At the Mind�s Limits; Delbo, Charlotte: Auschwitz and After; Lanzmann, Claude: Shoah; Levi, Primo: The Drowned and the Saved; Schlink, Bernard: The Reader; Spiegelman, Art: Maus I and II; Wiesel, Elie: Night


The German philosopher Theodor Adorno made the famous comment that to write poetry after Auschwitz was barbaric�but not to produce it even more barbarous. Of course, Adorno referred to �poetry� in the metaphorical sense, connoting artistic representation in general, but his remark does raise the question of genre: are some forms of representation more ethical, more effective, more enduring when trying to represent the �unrepresentable�? Does the camera succeed where the pen falters? Can the word cross boundaries that the visual cannot transgress? How do the verbal and visual compliment and complicate each other? The course material ranges from the documentary to the comic book, poetry to propaganda, memoir to Hollywood blockbuster.

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