Writers And Poets Of The Post Holocaust Era

1426 Words6 Pages
Thesis: Writers and poets of the post-Holocaust era have struggled through language to record their experiences. Despite the challenges, these authors are dependent on the limits of language and its reliance on metaphors in order to communicate the meaning they ultimately set out to convey. The daunting and complex process of detailing the past is done for the preservation of memory. The way in which past events are documented determines the way that future events are defined. Thus, encapsulating the past contributes to the shaping of the future. Metaphors and figurative language play their part in this process since the significance and meaning of the Holocaust are as much a part of memory as its facts are.
The Need for Facts: Through
…show more content…
In other words: people would have to deliver a considerable amount of believable facts.
Inability to Have Facts: Such valuable facts are easily altered in memory, and then further adjusted through literary construction. Our brains do not store facts like movies on a disc, but rather like condensed and packaged information called ‘gist’. Events are summarized based on feelings instead of visual details. While this is efficient for storage and makes it easy for activation and association with the present experience, it is largely made up of sensational, emotional, and associative aspects instead of solid fact. (Boyd). As Young explains, “All writing, all composition, is construction. We do not imitate the world, we construct versions of it.” (Young). That ‘construction’ is as flawed as our ability to remember. Elie Wiesel struggled with words when writing his memoir Night. He found that he had plenty to say, but no way to say it. Wiesel observed the intrinsic meanings already associated with common words like ‘hunger’ and ‘fear’ and how they did not mean the same thing to him as the rest of humanity who had never endured Auschwitz. Chaim Kaplan voiced similar frustrations, lamenting that that only a divinely inspired pen could ever find the words to describe the destruction of his city.
Dealing with No Facts: This inability to first capture and then portray facts is disturbing to survivors of the Holocaust. Wiesel warns, “Words destroy what
Get Access