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Holocaust in Literature and Film: Modern Hebrew Literature & Culture in Translation

ENGL 079.401
crosslisted as: NELC 159, CINE 159, COML 282, JWST 154
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3:00pm

 

In the first decade of the new millennium, the so called "Second

 Generation", children of Holocaust survivors reached maturity.  Only in their

 40s and 50s they finally began confronting and reconstructing their parents'

 experiences, as well as their own nightmarish childhoods.  These include

 striking narratives Our Holocaust by Amir Gutfreund and Corner People by Esty

 G.  Hayim as well as films like Walk on Water.  The third generation is also

 returning to the forbidden story with prize winning films like "The

 apartment." The quintessential Holocaust narrative The Diary of Anne Frank

 appeared in 1947, one year prior to the establishment of the Jewish State.

 Nevertheless, Israeli culture "waited" until the public trial of Adolf

 Eichmann in 1961 to hesitantly face the momentous catastrophe.  The Zionist

 wish to forge a "New Jew" motivated this suppression, at least in part.

 Aharon Appelfeld's stories were the first Holocaust-related works to enter the

 modernist literary scene in the 1960s, followed by the cryptic verse of Dan

 Pagis, a fellow child survivor.  It was not until 1988 that this practice of

 concealing the past was broken, when two Israeli-born pop singers, children of

 survivors, released the watershed documentary "Because of That War."

 

This course will follow and analyze the transformation of Israeli literature

 and cinema from instruments of suppression into a means of processing this

 national trauma.  While Israeli works constitute much of the course's

 material, European and American film and fiction play comparative roles.