Disciplining the Holocaust by Karyn Ball

By Karyn Ball

Explores the connection among disciplinarity and modern ethics of scholarship in regards to the Holocaust.

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An estimated 2,000 to 2,200 Jews had been killed. When General Pflugbeil sent a messenger to Major Weis to inquire about the fire, the major was found drunk. He claimed to know nothing about what was happening. 47 In contrast to Goldhagen’s description, Browning’s prose is self-effacing and its use of adjectives and other intensifiers sparing. This is not to suggest that Browning’s description lacks a coherent narrative structure or dramatic tension: the staccato sequence of matter-of-fact sentences builds a unifying parallelism into a description of the actions, causes, and effects with a clearly linked beginning, middle, and end; however, the deadpan irony elicited by the concluding fragment of indirect conversation seems geared to provoke tempered disgust and reflective judgment rather than incite moral outrage.

59 Because affect is “tautogorical” in this sense, its singular testimony, according to Nouvet, is “doomed to be judged both irrefutable . . 62 My return to Freudian psychoanalysis after Lyotard is intended to extend an inquiry about affect and its domestication in and beyond aesthetic experiences as a by-product of the libidinal, imaginary, and social registers of identification. In the fourth chapter, I examine the conditions and limits of the psychoanalytic framework for evaluating traumatic affect in discourse about the Holocaust.

In the fourth chapter, I examine the conditions and limits of the psychoanalytic framework for evaluating traumatic affect in discourse about the Holocaust. In the early 1990s, Dominick LaCapra and Eric Santner proposed compelling models of “working through” and mourning that incorporate psychoanalytic concepts; however, because they are committed to holding perpetrators responsible for their crimes while respecting the specificity of the victims’ suffering, both critics tend to foreground the ethical and conscious valences of working through while expropriating Freud’s theses on the drives and fantasy.

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