What Comes ‘After’: The ‘Postmemory’ Holocaust Novel
The Conclusion glances forward to where, depending on one’s point of view, literary scholarship either finally removes, or emphatically cements, the parenthesis around the German-Jewish Holocaust novel: in its attempt to catch up to the first-generation German-Jewish perspective through later, non-Jewish attempts to view the past through their eyes, most notably, perhaps, in the works of W. G. Sebald. Our response to Sebald exemplifies that, as suggested in Chapter 1, the most important single cause for the neglect experienced by the first-generation Holocaust novel—especially but by no means exclusively in German—may well be the way in which it clashes with our preoccupation, in the age of postmemory, with afterwardsness and belatedness, and our corresponding self-understanding as guardians of the past and keepers of the Holocaust legacy.
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