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Title: Jorge Semprún and the tale of history
Author: Herman, Gregory Jan
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the relationship between Spanish author and Buchenwald deportee Jorge Semprún and his philosophy of history. Firstly we examine Semprún's testimonies and the means he adopts to tell his traumatic past. Within this area a few of the questions that we shall consider are: of what importance is historical fidelity in the narration of the Blanchotian ‘limit-experience'? What effect does the establishment of a literary canon of testimony have on a diasporic author such as Semprún? How and with what effect does Semprún articulate notions of self and subjectivity? How does Semprún write the death of the other? Secondly from this anterior view onto history we will then switch to a future orientated anticipatory gaze and examine the relationship between Semprún and his philosophy of history: what is it that history has to tell us? How should the concentration camps be remembered now? What should happen to the physical remains of the camps? How, do we in the present, respond to the onerous burden of the past? In exploring these questions this thesis will show that Jorge Semprún forces us to reconsider not only our relationship with the past, for the sake of both the present and the future, but also forces us to reconsider our relationship with testimony and many of the criticisms which are only too often levelled at those who choose literary artifice as their means of bearing witness. From these points of reconsideration and only from these points will we be able to approach an understanding of the truly limitless and incomprehensible nothingness of the univers concentrationnaire.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Historiography