Ethics and Remembrance in the Poetry of Nelly Sachs and Rose Ausländer

Ethics and Remembrance in the Poetry of Nelly Sachs and Rose Ausländer

Kathrin M. Bower

Hardback
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Camden House

Overview

Overview

The first comparative study in English of two German-Jewish women poets who survived the Nazi genocide but did not escape its effects.
This is the first comparative study in English of two German-Jewish women poets who survived the Nazi genocide but did not escape its effects. The study begins with a reading of Sachs's and Ausländer's poetry in the context of the wider scope of 'Holocaust literature.' Focusing on the poet as witness bearing the double burden of survival and remembrance, the work argues that 'work of memory'achieved by Ausländer and Sachs exemplifies the complexity of poetic reflection on trauma and history.
In addition to aesthetic considerations, the book concentrates on the implications of Sachs's and Ausländer's poetic engagement for an 'ethics of remembrance'. The poetic dialogue with memory exemplified in these poets' works offers a model for 'working through' the trauma of the past with significance not only for Holocaust studies, but also for investigations of memory and trauma. As conscientious yet troubled efforts at representing the diversity of individual and collective suffering embracing both 'Jewish' experience and the human condition, Sachs's and Ausländer's poems can be read as at once subjective and universal injunctions to an awareness of the connections, divisions, and tensions that memory brings to bear on social relations.

Kathrin Bower is assistant professor of German at the University of Richmond (Virginia).

Details

August 2000
290 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571131911
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BIC DSC, 1DFG, 2AB, 3JJ
BISAC LIT004170, LIT014000, SOC049000
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Mourning Death / Bearing Witness
Searching for the Mother
Memory and Transformation
Tracks and Traces
Conclusion: Towards an Ethics of Rememberance

Reviews

provides much of value CHOICE

Bower provides informed interpretations through close readings of the texts. SOUTH ATLANTIC REVIEW

The book offers both a broad survey of two challenging poetic oeuvres and a vigorous analysis of the politics of memory. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

Bower's study not only gives insights into Sachs's and Auslaender's poetry, but also contributes to our understanding of Holocaust literature as a whole. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

well written, insightful, and thoughtfully executed.... Bowers's study is bound to engage any reader interested in Holocaust literature. MONATSHEFTE

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