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Limit Experiences

A Study of Twentieth-Century Forms of Representation

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Jacek Leociak

In his work Limit Experiences, Jacek Leociak addresses questions that are fundamental to the twentieth-century experience: How can we represent such traumatic events as the Holocaust? Was Lyotard correct when he claimed that reality had succumbed to the gas chambers? How can we describe the «indescribable»? Moving seamlessly through such topics as the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, the carpet bombing of Dresden, and Jews left for dead in the Nazi execution pits who miraculously «exited the grave» alive, Professor Leociak succeeds in offering readers a profound representation of twentieth-century limit experiences by embedding them in a broad array of sources and building around them a rich historical context.

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Text und Holocaust

Die Erfahrung des Ghettos in Zeugnissen und literarischen Entwürfen

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Jacek Leociak

Der Autor analysiert Tagebücher, Erinnerungen, Memoiren, Chroniken, Berichte und Briefe, die während der Zeit des Zweiten Weltkriegs und der deutschen Besatzung im und um das Warschauer Ghetto entstanden. Er untersucht die Gattungsspezifik und den speziellen Status dieser Texte, die das in Worte zu fassen versuchen, was gemeinhin als unbeschreibbar gilt. Der Autor widerspricht der verbreiteten These von der Unausdrückbarkeit. Er betont die Notwendigkeit des Ausdrucks jener Erfahrung und die Notwendigkeit des Versuchs zu verstehen.

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Sławomir Buryła, Dorota Krawczyńska and Jacek Leociak

Polish Literature and the Holocaust (1939–1968) scrutinizes literary and documentary testimonies produced during or after the extermination of Jews in the Second World War and rooted in that historical, political, and anthropological context. Whether someone wrote a text during or after the war influenced the nature of what was communicated. Hence, the authors divided this publication to separately cover two periods: 1939–1944/45 and 1945–1968. This publication overviews belles-lettres, personal document literature, and press publications. Almost all texts were written in the Polish language. The genre category constitutes the basic compositional criterion. The individual parts of our publication discuss poetry, narrative prose, personal document literature, and the press discourse.