Wall, hero and text : heroic narrative encounters the Warsaw Ghetto / by Alexandra Rahr.
This thesis examines the intersection of the heroic narrative and the Warsaw Ghetto. It considers both Polish and Jewish texts; Marek Edelman's The Ghetto Fights and Hanna Krall's To Outwit God both vigorously reject the heroic narrative because of its reliance on the beautiful death and implicit devaluation of the ‘passive death.’ In Courier from Warsaw, Jan Nowak subsumes the ghetto within the Polish heroic narrative so that the Jewish experience disappears within a nationalised chronicle of suffering. Jan Karski's Story of a Secret State emphasises the heroism of bearing witness, but falters when testimony fails to effect change. Ultimately, the imposition of the heroic narrative on the Warsaw Ghetto is an attempt to order the experience of the Shoah. In both Polish and Jewish accounts, the heroic narrative tries to reassemble a fragmented ghetto, and offers the tantalising promise that suffering may be redeemed.
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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