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LOCATING AND READING TRAUMA ETHICALLY IN CHARLOTTE DELBO’S AUSCHWITZ AND AFTER

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Title: LOCATING AND READING TRAUMA ETHICALLY IN CHARLOTTE DELBO’S AUSCHWITZ AND AFTER
Author: Ellen, Graham
Department: School of English and Theatre Studies
Program: English
Advisor: Bold, Christine
Abstract: This thesis begins with the assumption that underlying every Holocaust work of literature there is the presence of psychic trauma. Moreover, that the duty to remember the Holocaust places a moral claim on its readers. By placing contemporary theories of psychic trauma in dialogue with post-Holocaust theories of selfhood, memory, and unspeakability, it examines how Charlotte Delbo’s creative writing in her trilogy, Auschwitz and After, presents the possibility of trauma’s expression through poetry. Contemporary discourse and Delbo’s own assertions around trauma’s unspeakability, and the Holocaust’s affront to understanding, are assembled in order to detail the challenges that face readers in the present. Delbo’s text puts forth an ethical call for the reader to remember and thus necessitates a specific reader- a Levinasian reader. The result is the construction of an ethical reader who is able to responsibly approach the Holocaust anew in the post-post context of the present day.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9036
Date: 2015-05
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