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The Holocaust in Central European Literatures and Cultures : Problems of Poetization and Aestheticization

This volume addresses a problem of high controversy: Relating the Holocaust to poetic and aesthetic phenomena has often been seen as a taboo, as only authentic testimonies, documents, or at least ‘unliterary’, prosaic approaches were considered appropriate for dealing with the topic. However, from the very beginning of Holocaust literature and culture, there were tendencies towards literarization, poetization, and ornamentalization. Nowadays, aesthetic approaches—also in provocative, taboo-breaking ways—are more and more regarded as important instruments to evoke the attention required for keeping the cataclysm in the collective memory.

The contributions of the volume using examples predominantly from Polish, Czech, and German Holocaust literature and culture focus on selected aspects of this complex of problems, such as: poetry of concentration camp detainees; lyrical poetry about the Holocaust; poetical tendencies in narrative literature and drama; ‘ornamental prose’ about the Holocaust; devices and functions of aestheticization in Holocaust literature and culture.