See Under: Shoah

Imagining the Holocaust with David Grossman


Did the first generation Holocaust writers not warn us against the risks of imagination? Does it not create an illusion that the unimaginable can be imagined, the unrepresentable represented? Clearly this warning has not been taken up by David Grossman. Fully embracing imagination’s power, his novel See under: Love offers a profound reflection on how the twenty-first century can assume the heritage of the Shoah and remember the ‘unmemorable’ in a proper way. The essays in this volume reflect on this one novel, though each from its own angle. Focusing on one single novel shows the surplus value of a multispectral reflection on one central problem, in this case the allegedly inconceivable and unspeakable nature of the Shoah.

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Marc De Kesel is professor of Philosophy at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. His field of his research covers continental philosophy, Lacanian theory, Shoah studies, and theories of religion. Recent books: Auschwitz mon amour (on Shoah Reception; in Dutch), Amsterdam: Boom, 2012. Eros & Ethics: Reading Jacques Lacan, Séminaire VII, Albany: SUNY Press, 2009; (in Dutch) Goden breken. Essays over monotheïsme (Destroying Gods: Essays on Monotheism), Amsterdam: Boom, 2010.

Bettine Siertsema wrote her PhD thesis on Dutch autobiographical texts on the concentration camps, with special attention to religious and ethical dimensions (Uit de diepten. Vught: Skandalon, 2007, in Dutch). She is now a researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy of VU University in Amsterdam. Her fields of interest are Dutch and international Holocaust literature, and the interface of religion and literature.

Katarzyna Szurmiak is a historian currently working in education. She specialises in Jewish history and culture. Her research interests focus mostly on Yiddish language and culture, history of Jews in Poland and memory of the Shoah.
The Contributors
Introduction, Marc De Kesel & Katarzyna Szurmiak
Summary of the Novel, Jan Ceuppens
Quod Vide, or the Displacement of Meaning In the Narrative Construction of Love, Dany Nobus
Guerrilla War with Words. The Language of Resistance to the Shoah, Olga Kaczmarek
Grossman’s White Room and Schulzian Empty Spaces, Katarzyna Szurmiak
The Laugh of a God Who Doesn’t Exist, Marc De Kesel
The Perpetrator, Bettine Siertsema
Diasporic Remarks, Dirk De Schutter
The Holocaust’s Muses – On Voices, Appropriation and Misappropriation in Grossman’s Novel and W.G. Sebald’s Prose Fiction, Jan Ceuppens
The Novel Form and the Timing of the Nation, Pieter Vermeulen
Torag, Dolgan, Ning, Gyoya, Orga - Diaspora Under the Sign of Salmon, Ortwin De Graef
On Some Adornean Catchwords, Erik Vogt
This book is for scholars, advanced readers, and students who are interested in Jewish writing and particularly David Grossman's work on Holocaust fiction.
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