International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

“Every Individual Should Feel As If”: Exilic Memory and Third Generation Holocaust Writing
Dr. Cheryl Goldstein

The experience of the Holocaust has left an indelible mark upon the Jewish psyche. Initially, this trauma was expressed through eyewitness accounts, and then the “second generation,” the children of survivors, wrote of their own traumas. The third generation writers, whose relationship with the Holocaust is more attenuated, continue to evoke the trauma of Holocaust in their texts. By engaging particular Jewish motifs, often modeled on constructions of “collective memory” and the imagery and language of the Haggadah,, young North American writers challenge conventional ideas about “the witness” and testimony in order to perpetuate the structure of collective memory by “witnessing through imagination.” Three literary works, Aryeh Lev-Stollman’sThe Dialogues of Time and Entropy, Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love, and Nathan Englander’s The Ministry of Special Cases provide examples of this technique.

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