Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The question of the human in Holocaust writing
Author: Simon, Angie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 9841
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis confronts the challenges of a paradox that both suggests the Holocaust is unintelligible and yet demands our unending efforts to understand the persecution and annihilation of millions of human beings. The Nazi project was undertaken because certain groups were considered non-human, and my purpose is to show why I believe that whatever the offence or suffering undergone, the human being is indivisible and retains his/her status as human. Whilst I consider the Holocaust to be intelligible in its unintelligibility, problems remain in understanding what happens to the human when the boundaries of humanity and humanness are reached, and crossed. This demands a consideration of what is meant by the human, the inhuman and the non-human, and is discussed in Chapter 1. Chapters II and III examine discourses about the limits and burdens of trauma, memory and mourning, the connections between them, and the effects on concepts of the human. I specifically consider the impossible demand to recall not only the survivor's own dehumanization and annihilation, but also that of others, and how memory and trauma are connected to mourning and Levinasian ideas about responsibility. I also argue that there is another type of Holocaust writing that attempts to articulate the human experience via a displaced mode of representation that is no less potent than more forthright accounts, and particularly analyses adult recollections of traumatised childhoods. In Chapter IV, Enlightenment humanist ethics are interrogated when I ask if there is an irreversible crisis for humanism or whether a possibility for a regenerated humanist ethics exists. I conclude that in order to be human and go forward with any remnant of hope, we must be ever watchful and resistant to any ideology that can result in absolute domination and tyranny of others as practiced by the Nazis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral