The relations between memory and history have recently become a subject of contention, and the implications of that debate are particularly troubling for aesthetic, ethical and political issues. Dominick LaCapra focuses on the interactions among history, memory and ethicopolitical concerns as they emerge in the aftermath of the Shoah. Particularly notable are his analyses of Albert Camus's novella "The Fall", Claude Lanzmann's film "Shoah" and Art Spiegelman's "comic book" "Maus". LaCapra also considers the Historian's Debate in the aftermath of German reunification and the role of psychoanalysis in historical understanding and critical theory. In six essays, LaCapra addresses a series of related questions. Are there experiences whose traumatic nature blocks understanding and disrupts memory while producing belated effects that have an impact on attempts to address the past? Do some events present moral and representational issues even for groups or individuals not directly involved in them? Do those more directly involved have special responsibilities to the past and the way it is remembered in the present?
Can or should historiography define itself in a purely scholarly and professional way that distances it from public memory and its ethical implications? Does art itself have a special responsibility with respect to traumatic events that remain invested with value and emotion?
Buy History and Memory After Auschwitz book by Dominick L. LaCapra from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
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Author Biography - Dominick L. LaCapra
Dominick LaCapra is Professor Emeritus of History atCornell University. He is the author of many books, includingHistory, Literature, Critical Theory;History and Its Limits: Human, Animal, Violence; andHistory in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory, all from Cornell.