The Struggle for Understanding: Elie Wiesel's Literary Works

SUNY Press
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An in-depth look at Elie Wiesel’s writings, from his earliest works to his final novels.


Elie Wiesel (1928–2016) was one of the most important literary voices to emerge from the Holocaust. The Nazis took the lives of most of his family, destroyed the community in which he was raised, and subjected him to ghettoization, imprisonment in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and a death march. It is remarkable not only that Wiesel survived and found a way to write about his experiences, but that he did so with elegance and profundity. His novels grapple with questions of tradition, memory, trauma, madness, atrocity, and faith. The Struggle for Understanding examines Wiesel’s literary, religious, and cultural roots and the indelible impact of the Holocaust on his storytelling. Grouped in sections on Hasidic origins, the role of the Other, theology and tradition, and later works, the chapters cover the entire span of Wiesel’s career. Books analyzed include the novels DawnThe ForgottenThe Gates of the ForestThe Town Beyond the WallThe TestamentThe Time of the UprootedThe Sonderberg Case, and Hostage, as well as his memoir, Night. What emerges is a portrait of Wiesel’s work in its full literary richness.


“This is a marvelous collection. The essays are written by a new generation of scholars who have probed Elie Wiesel’s work deeply and used the manifest tools of their many disciplines to explore some of the most pressing questions relating to the Holocaust, to memory, and to Wiesel himself. I was deeply impressed.” — Michael Berenbaum, American Jewish University

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About the author

Victoria Nesfield is Research Coordinator in the Humanities Research Centre at the University of York, in the United Kingdom. 

Philip Smith is Assistant Professor of English at the University of the Bahamas.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 2019
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Pages
316
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ISBN
9781438475479
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Jewish
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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