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Jorge Semprún

Memory’s Long Voyage

Series:

Daniela Omlor

Jorge Semprún is a leading writer from the first generation of Spanish Civil War exiles, yet studies of his work have often focused solely on his literary testimony to the concentration camps and his political activities. Although Semprún’s work derives from his incarceration in Buchenwald and his expulsion from the Spanish Communist Party in 1964, limiting the discussion of his works to the autobiographical details or to the realm of Holocaust studies is reductive. The responses by many influential writers to his recent death highlight that the significance of Semprún’s work goes beyond the testimony of historical events. His self-identification as a Spanish exile has often been neglected and there is no comprehensive study of his works available in English. This book provides a global view of his œuvre and extends literary analysis to texts that have received little critical attention. The author investigates the role played by memory in some of Semprún’s works, drawing on current debates in the field of memory studies. A detailed analysis of these works allows related concepts, such as exile and nostalgia, the Holocaust, the interplay between memory and writing, politics and collective memory, and postmemory and identity, to be examined and discussed.

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Adorno, Theodor 102, 108–109 Agamben, Giorgio 15, 30, 73, 88, 89, 93–95, 97–99, 101, 208 on Muselmann 30, 94–95, 97–99, 208 Remnants of Auschwitz 15, 73, 89, 93, 97, 98 Améry, Jean 95 amnesia see oblivion Antelme, Robert 7, 85 Arendt, Hannah 84, 87 Aristotle 20, 93, 107, 112 Auf hebung see dialectics Auschwitz (concentration camp) 15, 73, 83, 87–89, 93, 100–102, 108, 114, 120, 124, 169, 194 Auster, Paul 173–174 autobiography 4–6, 11–14, 16–18, 19, 27, 34, 46, 57, 69, 71, 73, 105–106, 108, 110, 114, 119, 134, 139, 140, 141, 152, 168, 169, 173, 188, 191, 195, 201, 208 autobiographical pact 11–13, 19 autofiction 13, 19, 20 of childhood 57, 71, 73, 110, 139, 208 Philippe Lejeune 11–13, 19 Nabokov 108 Barral, Carlos 126, 162 Baudelaire, Charles 30, 36, 39–42, 49, 53, 58, 60, 143, 160, 161 spleen 39, 40, 42, 53 women 49 Bergamín, José 149 Bergson, Henri 45, 143 bilingualism 8–9, 60–61, 65, 72, 130 Nabokov 8 Celan 8 Borges, Jorge Luis 190, 191 Brecht, Bertolt 89, 170, 197 Buchenwald (concentration camp) 2, 5, 6, 12–14, 27, 30, 34–35, 38, 63, 71–72, 73–75, 76–78, 80–82, 85–87, 90–93, 99, 101, 102, 105, 120, 122, 125–126, 128, 131–136, 143, 152–153, 160, 165–166, 167, 179–180, 192, 195, 205–207 Eugen Kogon on 87, 102 Carrillo, Santiago 2,...

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