"Words cannot express" : aesthetic trauma and strategies of representation in Timothy Findley's The wars, Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, and Art Spiegelman's Maus: a survivor's tale / by Paul Warren Compton.
This work involves the status of World Wars I and II, and Holocaust commemoration in an age which sees fewer survivors and witnesses with each passing year. As we lose first-hand witnesses, the ability to gain insight into the experiences of the individual caught up in events of mass catastrophe becomes much more difficult. Commemorative events, such as Remembrance Day, risk degenerating into little more than empty ritual, becoming spectacles largely ignored by those untouched by events that not even their parents witnessed. In response to this possibility, Timothy Findley, Steven Spielberg and Art Spiegelman, three post-survivor, post-witness artists, have engaged World Wars I and II and the Holocaust respectively, through diverse artistic media in order to maintain our awareness of these terrible events. These artistic “texts,” focusing on individuals, may stand as new sites of commemoration. This question is what artists like Findley, Spiegelman and Spielberg automatically respond to when they revisit the scope of human suffering which marks traumatic events that occurred several generations ago. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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