Bearing witness : the Holocaust in the works of Marjorie Agosin, Jorge Luis Borges, José Kozer, Alicia Partnoy, and Jacobo Timerman / by Walli Ann Wisniewski.
This dissertation is a study of the cultural references to the Jewish Holocaust that occur in the works of five Latin American authors, Marjorie Agosín, Jorge Luis Borges, José Kozer, Alicia Partnoy, and Jacobo Timerman. Written from a testimonial perspective prevalent in each author, the Jewish Holocaust occupies a position of authority. Each subsequent experience, for example, the Argentine Dirty War, establishes a tenuous connection with the Holocaust such that comparisons can be made between the two events to describe what the Holocaust might have been like. Such comparisons also serve to magnify the severity of these other events. Using the authors' testimonies from the Argentine Dirty War as well as those of a fictional nature, these authors reactions to the Jewish Holocaust can be better studied in light of their own experiences. Testimonial literature is a controversial genre. I have chosen to expand the definition of testimonio beyond solely eyewitness accounts because broadening the definition of testimonial literature makes it possible to include the works of others, who were ancillary participants in these events and whose works reflect their presence during the events in question. Under this larger definition of testimony, fictional works once thought to be esthetic, or purely “art” may be considered as having a basis in actual concrete events. Works from authors like Borges and Kozer, for example, both of whom would not normally be thought of as testimonial writers, now fit under this expanded definition. Examining how and why these authors incorporate the Jewish Holocaust in their respective writings is important, not only to the victims of the Holocaust, but also to the victims of the Argentine Dirty War and other such events. The Holocaust is a yardstick by which other events are constantly measured. Utilizing these cultural comparisons throughout their works, these authors attempt to validate their experiences using a well defined frame of reference and underscore the importance and meaning of these other events.
Record last modified: 2018-04-24 16:01:00
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