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Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! What is the difference between writing a novel about the Holocaust and fabricating a memoir?

Do narratives about the Holocaust have a special obligation to be "truthful" - i. Or, in other words, when is it okay to lie about the Holocaust? In her provocative study A Thousand Darknesses: Truth and Lies In Holocaust Fiction , Ruth Franklin investigates these questions as they arise in the most significant works of fiction about the Holocaust, from Tadeusz Borowski's Auschwitz stories to Jonathan Safran Foer's postmodernist family history.

Franklin argues that the memory-obsessed culture of the last few decades has led to a mistaken focus on testimony as the primary form of writing about the Holocaust.

As even the most canonical Holocaust texts have come under scrutiny for their fidelity to the facts, we have lost sight of the essential role that imagination plays in the creation of any literary work, including - perhaps especially - the memoir. Sebald, and Wolfgang Koeppen, Franklin makes a persuasive case for literature as an equally vital vehicle for understanding the Holocaust. The result is a study of immense depth and range that offers a lucid view of an often cloudy field. Ruth Franklin's new book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, is more than a towering work of criticism and insight - it's an invaluable corrective.

Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier. Click here to read more about delivery expectations. The radiator clanked and the heat began to rise with a hiss. Lilka brought out a small chocolate cake.

Is it the one I like? She nodded. With marzipan? His eyes grew shiny.

a/b: Auto/Biography Studies

Oh darling, he said. Come and sit on my lap. Let me hug you and kiss you. Like before the war. Take me to Warsaw. Women were mad for me. Were they? Sometimes I brought them something we had smuggled in. A pot of jam, a hair ribbon, a few cigarettes. What a hero I was. I still had dark curls.

Wiesel gave Holocaust a face, world a conscience

And I could run like the wind. He smiled. What adventures we had. He smoked and flicked the ashes onto the floor. In those days, in the ghetto, long long ago, he said, I was young. But it is unfair to single out Edelman. After all, even Harlequin has gotten into the Holocaust novel business.

A Thousand Darknesses Lies And Truth In Holocaust Fiction!

Regardless of the publisher, sex always looms large in these novels, often appearing sooner and more often than the Nazis. It is telling that almost all of the relationships in such books are illicit in one way or another. Take Far to Go, by Alison Pick. How are we to assess such fiction? The reviews of many of the higher-end novels are often glowing; Far to Go was long listed for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Israel and the Holocaust: Debunking the Myth

Of course there was romance in the ghettos and the forests and even the camps , but is the author aiming at careful reconstruction or crass exploitation? No one held to account.

A thousand darknesses : lies and truth in Holocaust fiction

The costume party will not be interrupted. Historical fiction often has the feel of a costume party, and perhaps it is too much to hope that writers of Holocaust novels would be aware of the literary and moral dangers in dressing up their banal characters and plots in the clothes of Nazis and their victims. It starts in the years when her main characters—the real-life leftist playwright and political activist Ernst Toller and Socialist writer Dora Fabian—are still living in Germany. But the reader comes away with no real understanding of the importance of either figure. Open marriages, bisexuality, drug use, and abortion cannot be ignored in an honest history of Weimar, but here they take prurient center stage.

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One almost feels as if these anti-Nazi characters are being depicted through Nazi eyes. Despite the literary and moral dangers, using the Holocaust is enticingly convenient. As Alison Pick explains in an interview printed in the back of Far to Go:. I had a series of actual events and preexisting political tensions. Pick, it should be noted, is the granddaughter of Czech Jews who fled the Nazis and settled in Canada, raising their two sons as Christians. Tone-deafness is, I think, the key to understanding how this genre came into being and how it continues to flourish.