Holocaust as Culture

ISBN-10: 0857420224
ISBN-13: 9780857420220
Edition: 2011
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Description: Hungarian Imre Kertész was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002 for ;writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history. ; His conversation with literary historian Thomas Cooper that  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Seagull Books
Publication date: 6/15/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 112
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Hungarian Imre Kertész was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002 for ;writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history. ; His conversation with literary historian Thomas Cooper that is presented here speaks specifically to this relationship between the personal and the historical. In The Holocaust as Culture,Kertész recalls his childhood in Buchenwald and Auschwitz and as a writer living under the so-called soft dictatorship of communist Hungary. Reflecting on his experiences of the Holocaust and the Soviet occupation of Hungary following World War II, Kertész likens the ideological machinery of National Socialism to the oppressive routines of life under communism. He also discusses the complex publication history of Fateless, his acclaimed novel about the experiences of a Hungarian child deported to Auschwitz, and the lack of interest with which it was initially met in Hungary due to its failure to conform to the communist government's simplistic history of the relationship between Nazi occupiers and communist liberators. The underlying theme in the dialogue between Kertész and Cooper is the difficulty of mediating the past and creating models for interpreting history, and how this challenges ideas of self. The title The Holocaust as Cultureis taken from that of a talk Kertész gave in Vienna for a symposium on the life and works of Jean Améry. That essay is included here, and it reflects on Améry's fear that history would all too quickly forget the fates of the victims of the concentration camps. Combined with an introduction by Thomas Cooper, the thoughts gathered here reveal Kertész's views on the lengthening shadow of the Holocaust as an ever-present part of the world's cultural memory and his idea of the crucial functions of literature and art as the vessels of this memory.

Imre Kert�sz, 1929 - Imre Kert�sz was born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 9, 1929. With 7,000 other Hungarian Jews he was deported in 1944, at the age of fifteen, from Budapest to Auschwitz and liberated a year later at Buchenwald. Starting in 1948, he worked in Hungary as a journalist with the daily Vil�goss�g. He was dismissed in 1951 and conscripted into the army for two years. Since 1953 Kert�sz has been living as a freelance writer and translator of German literature from Nietzsche to Freud. His first book, "Novel of a Man Without Destiny," was at first rejected by a state publishing company. It appeared in a limited edition in 1975 under the title "Man Without Destiny." It was denied all publicity. During the decades that he worked on this autobiographical novel, Kert�sz supported himself by writing light pieces for the theatre. The novel appeared in German in 1990. Galley Diary published in 1992, covers the years 1961 to 1991. In his novel "Fiasco," published in 1988, the hero, a journalist, bears the unmistakable traits of the author. Lastly, "Kaddish for an Unborn Child" was published in German in 1992, completing his trilogy. In 1998 Kert�sz presented a second diary, "I, A Different Person" which documented the years from 1991 to 1995. With fellow writer, P�ter Esterh�zy he published a volume of stories, "A Story, Two Stories" in 1994. Kert�sz was awarded the Brandenburg Literature Prize in 1995, The Book Prize for European Understanding, Leipzig 1997, the Darmstadt Academy Prize in 1997, the Order "pour le m�rite," the World Literature Prize for 2000 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in October of 2002.

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