By C. Fred Alford
The Holocaust marks a decisive second in glossy pain within which it turns into virtually most unlikely to discover that means or redemption within the adventure. during this learn, C. Fred Alford bargains a brand new and considerate exam of the adventure of ache. relocating from the e-book of task, an account of significant ache in a God-drenched international, to the paintings of Primo Levi, who tried to discover that means within the Holocaust via absolute readability of perception, he concludes that neither approach works good in ultra-modern global. more suitable are the daily coping practices of a few survivors. Drawing on tales of survivors from the Fortunoff Video files, Alford additionally applies the paintings of Julia Kristeva and the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot to his exam of a subject that has been and remains to be crucial to human event.
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Extra info for After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction
Job, Transitional Space, and the Ruthless Use of the Object 31 what this satisfaction consists we need to be clear. It does not consist in what Guti´errez says it consists. “Job is invited to sing with Yahweh the wonders of creation – without forgetting the source of it all is the free and gratuitous love of God” (1987, 75). One has to look very hard, from somewhere deep in the pages of the New Testament, to find an invitation from God to Job to join Him in a duet. Here is how God – truly a God of nature when he speaks from the whirlwind – speaks to the condition of the absurd, as Camus (1955, 28) defines it: man cries out to the world that it acknowledge his existence, and the world is silent.
The chapter continues with the leading themes of this book: asking whether Primo Levi was the simple atheist he seemed to be, taking up once again his struggle with the Book of Job. The chapter concludes by asking what survivors have to teach us about the world, not just themselves. Could survivors teach us to look at the Holocaust in such a way as to render it less absurd? One theme that unites these chapters is, of course, the relationship among suffering, absurdity, and affliction. Another is interpretation.
Yes, the sublime is the abject in the dimension of beauty and wonder and terror and awe. If one thinks of the abject as the threatened dissolution of boundaries, then this is, of course, precisely the appeal of the sublime, precisely how Kant defines the term, that experience of excess that threatens to make mincemeat of human categories. According to Kristeva (1982, 207), the sublime and the transcendent – that is, art and religion – both deal with that archaic space where the familiar binaries such as self/other, or subject/object, have broken down or threaten to break down.
After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction by C. Fred Alford