Comedy – Avant-Garde – Scandal

Remembering the Holocaust after the End of History

1. Edition, 2010
206 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5726-9
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 183
Available: 22.04.2010

Keywords: Architektur, Erinnerungskultur, Holocaust, kulturelles Gedächtnis, Holocaust /Film, Kunst, Literatur, Foer, Jonathan Safran, Bukiet, Melvin Jules, Mihaileanu, Radu, Libeskind, Daniel

Why did the Holocaust become such a prominent theme in American and European art, literature, and film in the 1990s? Why does so much of this art court controversy? These and related questions motivate this study, a joint effort by two scholars of American culture, one German and the other US-American.
The authors link the growing centrality of the Holocaust in art, and the increasingly provocative strategies employed by writers, artists, and filmmakers, to the end of the Cold War. History, tainted by obsolete ideological debates, no longer seemed adequate to describing the past, so art mobilized the traditional strategies of the avant-garde – scandal, satire, and provocation – as a spur to memory.
The Holocaust became the focus of this revolution in art – and crisis of historical representation – because it seemed to be beyond the limits of understanding. The authors argue that art turns to the Holocaust when commemoration, rather than novelty, is avant-garde.

Kornelia Freitag in: Anglia, Bd. 130 (2012), Heft 1, 120ff

Holli Levitsky in: Polish Journal for American Studies, Vol. 5 (2011), 193ff