Holocaust shards, Holocaust shreds : American meanings of the Holocaust / submitted by Lois C. Ambash.
This project draws on the methods of the qualitative social scientist, the cultural critic, and the writer of personal narrative to explore contemporary American meanings of the Holocaust. From my own identified perspectives as a non-affiliated American Jewish feminist born just after World War II, I record a heuristic examination of the process of making meaning of the Holocaust in the waning years of its last survivors, a process which also evolved into an exploration of ethnic identity. Recurring themes and metaphors in the work include the loss and reclaiming of connection to one's ethnic and cultural roots; silence and voice; technology as the implement of destruction of a culture and as the tool of reconstructing meaning; the roles and experiences of insiders and outsiders; modernity and postmodernism; and shards (masculine images of sharpness and fragmentation) and shreds (feminine images of stitching and unraveling). I pay significant attention to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Art Spiegelman's Maus books and their translation to CD-ROM, which convey in distinctly postmodern cartoon format an oral history of Spiegelman's father's experiences during and after the Holocaust; Anne Roiphe's consideration of the relationships between assimulation and the Holocaust in Generation Without Memory and A Season for Healing; the phenomenon of Steven Spielberg's Shindler's List; themes that repeat themselves in the memoirs of Holocaust survivors; and Yiddish language and Klezmer music as the voice of the decimated Eastern European Jewish culture. The form of the work is unconventional, mirroring the theme of fragmentation and reconstruction. It makes use of sidebars, multiple columns of text on a single page, and lengthy quotations from the works cited.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:46:00
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