By C. Fred Alford
The Holocaust marks a decisive second in smooth anguish during which it turns into nearly most unlikely to discover that means or redemption within the event. during this learn, C. Fred Alford deals a brand new and considerate exam of the event of soreness. relocating from the e-book of task, an account of significant affliction in a God-drenched global, to the paintings of Primo Levi, who tried to discover which means within the Holocaust via absolute readability of perception, he concludes that neither approach works good in modern global. better are the day by day coping practices of a few survivors. Drawing on stories of survivors from the Fortunoff Video data, Alford additionally applies the paintings of Julia Kristeva and the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot to his exam of an issue that has been and is still crucial to human event.
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Additional resources for After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction
Job regrets the dust and ashes of human mortality more than ever, for it is uncompensated by the care or justice of God – at least, not in a manner humans can comprehend. What are those of us who are not Hebraists to make of all this? A great deal of intellectual modesty – indeed, humbleness – would seem to be in order. Still, the Bible was written for all of us and, if fools rush in . . let us at least tread lightly. These considerations explain, however, why I employ several translations and why fidelity to any particular translation is no unalloyed virtue.
In fact, this is almost exactly how Kristeva came to define the chora. It is a . . rhythmic space, which has no thesis, and no position, the process by which significance is constituted. Plato himself leads us to such a process when he calls this receptacle or chora nourishing and maternal. (Kristeva 1984, 26; my emphasis) By “no thesis, and no position,” Kristeva seemed to mean what Winnicott meant: that the rhythmic holding environment responds to the rhythm of another, often in a different register.
Others are containers, such as cupped hands. Never, however, did he refer to the entire human body as a container (Angier 2002, 682–4). Our future, Levi concluded, depends entirely on whether scientists can find containers for some of our most fearsome energies, including hydrogen, which powers the sun and the atomic bomb. In her biography, Carole Angier made much of Levi’s need to be contained or held. Being held or contained: . . touches on themes – even obsessions – which profoundly move him.
After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction by C. Fred Alford