After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the by C. Fred Alford

By C. Fred Alford

The Holocaust marks a decisive second in sleek agony within which it turns into virtually most unlikely to discover that means or redemption within the event. during this research, C. Fred Alford deals a brand new and considerate exam of the adventure of affliction. relocating from the publication of task, an account of significant pain in a God-drenched international, to the paintings of Primo Levi, who tried to discover which means within the Holocaust via absolute readability of perception, he concludes that neither technique works good in state-of-the-art global. more beneficial are the day by day coping practices of a few survivors. Drawing on tales of survivors from the Fortunoff Video information, Alford additionally applies the paintings of Julia Kristeva and the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot to his exam of a subject matter that has been and remains to be principal to human adventure.

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Extra info for After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction

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Perhaps Job was not mistaken in his rage; his rage was simply irrelevant, like that of a little child against the world. The Book concludes (42:7–16) with an addition by still later and more literal-minded redactors – or, at least, later redactors for the more literal-minded – in which Job is given a new and better family, with daughters even more beautiful than before, as well as bigger flocks. That this is a late addition virtually no scholars disagree. The real end of the Book, or so it seems, returns to where Job’s sufferings began: Job taking comfort in his dust and ashes, for that is what he is and all that he has, all that any human can be (42:6) – merely mortal.

It is now even more the interpretation of the mystery and travail of human existence, social history, and personal history by means of the symbols of Christian faith, to show that it is these symbols, and these alone, that make sense of the confusions of ordinary life. About the Book of Job, the liberation theologian, Gustavo Guti´errez (2003, xviii), stated the problem simply and starkly: The point of view that I myself adopt in this book is important and classic, and I believe, central to the book itself: the question of how we are to talk about God.

According to Kristeva (1982, 207), the sublime and the transcendent – that is, art and religion – both deal with that archaic space where the familiar binaries such as self/other, or subject/object, have broken down or threaten to break down. It is thus not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection, but what disturbs identity, system, order. . The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite. The traitor, the liar, the criminal with a good conscience. (1982, 4) Abjection has the quality of the scapegoat, the pharmakos (the Greek term for scapegoat that also means both poison and cure), the traitor, the slimy viscous boundary violator, that which does not stay in its place.

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