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10 On Some Adornean Catchwords

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses five concepts or catchwords (anti-theodicy, survival/afterlife of Auschwitz, human/animal, remembrance, literature) extracted from and corresponding between Theodor W. Adorno and David Grossman, although somewhat arbitrary and without any claim to completion, they can be presented in such a way that the urgency for both authors to 'comprehend the incomprehensible' is rendered tangible. Remembrance is, as Grossman shows so brilliantly in the first section of his novel See Under: Love, a complex and mediated endeavor; its power is indeed great and heavy, and at times has a paralyzing effect. Auschwitz insinuates a problematic in literature itself that exposes literature to a risk that is historically conditioned. That is to say, Auschwitz can neither be bypassed nor recuperated by or for literature, especially since it is has been complicit with it and therefore not exempt from the 'guilt context of the living'.

Keywords: anti-theodicy; Auschwitz; David Grossman; literature; See Under: Love; Theodor W. Adorno



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