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Article

“Die Grenzen des Sagbaren”: H. G. Adler (on) Writing Literature after the Holocaust

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Humanities 2021, 10(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020063
Received: 28 January 2021 / Revised: 15 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 31 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Literary Response to the Holocaust)
Taking the next step in our understanding of the testimony of Holocaust literature involves taking a step back to recuperate a theoretical approach that does not cede all human attempts at knowledge to skepticism. At odds with Theodor Adorno about the possibility of writing poetry after Auschwitz, Adler, a survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, transformed his experiences into fiction. In his novel, Eine Reise, published in 1962, and in his 1965 essay on “Die Grenzen des Sagbaren,” or the limits of the sayable, Adler addresses these dilemmas. While Adorno collapses traditions of value into barbarity, Adler struggles to maintain, describe and explain the possibility of human resistance to evil. I examine Adler’s nuanced use of language in these two works and show that the rage and epistemological uncertainty that dominate the post-Holocaust world do not necessarily lead to the destruction of all traditional forms of meaning. View Full-Text
Keywords: Holocaust; literature; H. G. Adler; Adorno Holocaust; literature; H. G. Adler; Adorno
MDPI and ACS Style

O’Brien, T.S. “Die Grenzen des Sagbaren”: H. G. Adler (on) Writing Literature after the Holocaust. Humanities 2021, 10, 63. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020063

AMA Style

O’Brien TS. “Die Grenzen des Sagbaren”: H. G. Adler (on) Writing Literature after the Holocaust. Humanities. 2021; 10(2):63. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020063

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Brien, Traci S. 2021. "“Die Grenzen des Sagbaren”: H. G. Adler (on) Writing Literature after the Holocaust" Humanities 10, no. 2: 63. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020063

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