Bark / Georges Didi-Huberman ; translated by Samuel Martin
- Uniform Title
- Écorces. English
- Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, 
"Bark, originally published as Écorces by Les Éditions de Minuit in 2011, is a photographic and literary essay by leading French philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman (winner of the Adorno Prize in 2015), documenting the author's visit to the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in the summer of that year. The book comprises some 10,000 words, as well as 19 photographs taken by Didi-Huberman, which punctuate the text and serve both as signposts to the reader and as focal points for the tension between individual acts of looking and the construction of collective memory. Didi-Huberman refuses to consider Auschwitz as the name and site of some unimaginable, metaphysical absolute; rather, he advocates what he calls an archaeological point of view, attentive to the material details of the site as well as to the phenomenology and history of the images that have emerged from it. Unlike his previous work, however, Bark is less an academic study than a personal and literarily inflected meditation. The three strips of birch bark torn from a tree at the Birkenau site, laid out on a table in the book's opening photograph, appear to the author like 'the beginning of a letter to write.' While by no means an autobiographical text, Bark does lay bare the fact that Didi-Huberman's grandparents died at Auschwitz. The understated poignancy of the text is reinforced by the author's photographs, whose power could be said to lie precisely in their banality, as they make tangible the various features of the present site (walls, floors, fences, even flowers) and invite readers to look more closely in their effort to imagine the reality of the camps"--Provided by publisher.
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