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Memory and ComplicityMigrations of Holocaust Remembrance$
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Debarati Sanyal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265473

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265473.001.0001

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Reading Nazi Memory in Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones

Reading Nazi Memory in Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones

Chapter:
(p.182) Five Reading Nazi Memory in Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones
Source:
Memory and Complicity
Author(s):

Debarati Sanyal

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823265473.003.0006

The chapter gives a reading of Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones (2006), a historical novel that revisits the archive of Holocaust testimony through the memory of a fictional perpetrator. It frames this novel within the current anxiety that we have moved from the “era of the witness” (Annette Wieviorka) to the “era of perpetrators.” It positions the work within recent French debates on fiction’s displacement of history. In a broader argument for the historical and cultural value of Littell’s ethically risky treatment of complicity, it situates The Kindly Ones within the emerging field of comparative genocide studies.

Keywords:   perpetration, testimony, history vs. fiction, irony, Flaubert, comparative genocide studies

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