Elie Wiesel once said: “The ultimate mystery of the Holocaust is that whatever happened took place in the soul.” Inasmuch as poetry is the language of the soul, we must engage the literary response to the Holocaust if we are to sound its depths.
The purpose of “The Literary Response to the Holocaust”, a Special Issue of the journal Humanities, is to explore new avenues of understanding this event that eludes understanding. The overarching questions defining this special edition are: (1) How does the literary response to the Holocaust give voice to the ineffable aspect of the Holocaust? (2) What sets Holocaust literature apart from the traditional parameters of literary genres? (3) What are the generational implications of the literary response to the Holocaust for the testimonial remembrance of the Holocaust?
These are questions that not only arise from the existing, substantial scholarship on the literary response to the Holocaust, but that also take that scholarship to another level. It ranges from Irving Halperin’s study of 1970 Messengers of the Dead to my own The Holocaust and the Nonrepresentable (2018). The aim of this Special Issue is to take the next step in our understanding of the Holocaust and the testimony of Holocaust literature.
Scholars are invited to submit abstracts for articles dealing with Holocaust poetry, fiction, drama, memoirs, and diaries, as well as pieces addressing matters of representation, memory, and other theoretical aspects of the literary response to the Holocaust.
Abstracts of 150–200 words, along with 150–200-word bios, should be submitted by 15 July 2020. Completed articles of 5000–7000 words should be submitted by 1 January 2021.
Prof. Dr. David Patterson