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Remembering the HolocaustA Debate$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326222.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Allegories of Evil: A Response to Jeffrey Alexander

Allegories of Evil: A Response to Jeffrey Alexander

(p.105) Allegories of Evil: A Response to Jeffrey Alexander
Remembering the Holocaust

Martin Jay

Oxford University Press

Allegorization, it has long been recognized, is an inevitable feature of all history writing. No matter how disinterested and neutral the historian tries to be, the very act of writing a meaningful narrative fashioned out of an infinity of potentially relevant texts and contexts compels him or her to create a gap between what happened in an unrecoverable past and what is represented of that past in the present. Perhaps no candidate for allegorization has been riper for multiple interpretations in modern history, as Jeffrey Alexander clearly shows, than the bewildering mixture of acts, events, and incomprehensible suffering that has come to be called the Holocaust. This chapter examines the hard questions about the transferability of vicarious trauma from one culture to another, from one historical memory to another.

Keywords:   history writing, allegorization, Holocaust, historical memory

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