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Narrative and ConsciousnessLiterature, Psychology and the Brain$
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Gary D. Fireman, Ted E. McVay, and Owen J. Flanagan

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140057

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140057.001.0001

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The Pursuit of Death in Holocaust Narrative

The Pursuit of Death in Holocaust Narrative

Chapter:
(p.148) (p.149) 8 The Pursuit of Death in Holocaust Narrative
Source:
Narrative and Consciousness
Author(s):

Lawrence L. Longer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140057.003.0008

While autobiographical narratives are often associated with how a certain person has lived his or her life, exploring memories concerning the Holocaust would involve testimonies about death and how one was able to survive the various events in the German killings. The subtexts of such Holocaust testimonies exude a theme that seems to be relatively difficult to comprehend and articulate—how several people were undergoing severe sufferings and how many were dying. In this context, therefore, survival is not seen in a negative light, as how one avoids death; but rather in a more positive sense that involves how one is making an effort to stay alive. This chapter looks into how these Holocaust survivors, through recollecting and reflecting upon their experiences, are not just recovering their lives through their narratives but are also realizing how they have been able to escape their death destinies. We look into the various aspects of these testimonies, including the imagery and the consciousness involved.

Keywords:   autobiographical narratives, German killings, Holocaust testimonies, Holocaust survivors, imagery, consciousness

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