Auschwitz When He States, "A Term Paper


The idea that the Holocaust belongs to, as White puts it, a "special class of events," is a compelling one (37). Any discursive historical representation has an "inexpungeable relativity," just as any historiography will (White 37). Narratives are certainly one of the many efforts to "lay claim to what and how a nation remembers," which is why it is important to place the object within its social, cultural, and historical context (Hansen127). Added to the problem of representations is the equally as difficult problem of the "real" archival elements: the photos and film objects and the primary sources that are used to piece together historiographies and narratives alike. Wiesel has been quoted as saying that documentaries cannot do the Holocaust justice paradoxically because they show too much. In showing, it denigrates the experience, of "what can never be imagined," that domain of consciousness that only art, music, poetry, and other non-linear discursive creatures can attain (Weissman...


Thus, the documentary film Shoah autobiographical accounts such as Still Alive all stand in a direct challenge to Spielberg's Schindler's List, which simultaneously opposes Wiesel's Maus. Felman disagrees with the dichotomies and binaries, placing all of these various representations into a pocket that embraces "the relation between art and witnessing," (205).
That it is possible to find unity among the various Holocaust representations and discourses is certain. The act of remembering itself can be woven into the narrative, as Wiesel is sure to do in Maus, with its frame narrative that anchors the act of remembering and reflecting into the original event and experiences of survivors. The same identical thing is achieved with Spielberg in Schindler's List, which clearly bears the stamp of its unapologetic "author." Likewise, documentary producers find themselves conveying Holocaust through a pastiche of images representing the "real," and in that mash-up and mix-up…

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