Reading the Holocaust
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Reading the Holocaust

Inga Clendinnen (La Trobe University, Victoria)

More than fifty years after their occurrence, the events of the Holocaust remain for some of their most dedicated students as morally and intellectually baffling, as ‘unthinkable’, as they were at their first rumouring. Reading the Holocaust challenges that bafflement, and the demoralization that attends it. Exploring the experience of the Holocaust from both the victims' and the perpetrators' points of view, as it appears in histories and memoirs, films and poems, Inga Clendinnen seeks to dispel what she calls the ‘Gorgon effect’: the sickening of imagination and curiosity and the draining of the will that afflict so many of us when we try to look squarely at the persons and processes implicated in the Holocaust. Searching, eloquent and elegantly written, her book is an uncompromising attempt to extract the comprehensible from the unthinkable.

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