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Viljoen, Jeanne-Marie: "Representing the “unrepresentable”. The unpredictable life of memory and experience in Waltz with Bashir." In: Scrutiny2 18.2 (2013), S. 66–80.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Viljoen2013
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Keywords: "Waltz with Bashir", Adaption, Animation, Folman. Ari, Israel, Memoria, Trauma
In this paper, I wish to explore the apparent unrepresentability of some forms of extreme experience. Following a line of thought expressed by Steiner (that some experiences must remain unspoken because they are too traumatic for words) and Caruth (that some experiences cannot be represented), Van Alphen (1999: 24) asserts that some “experiences” are not representable through discursive means and so cannot occur successfully. This is because he views experience as a symptom of discourse. According to Van Alphen, this implies that those who have lived through extreme experiences sometimes cannot represent anything more to themselves than having lived through events, but they do not feel that they have actively been there and taken part in them in any more meaningful way. Folman's Waltz with Bashir text is a particularly rich example of the representation of the extreme experiences of war, which, although lived through by the main protagonist and author, have not yet been experienced by him, because at the time of starting to compose his text, he initially has no memory of these “experiences”. These events only become constructed as experiences through his narrative, as he unearths archival footage along with his own and other people's partial and often garbled representations of the events. These he compiles into an unconventional narrative (represented in a comics-style graphic narrative and an animated documentary film form), which becomes his own story and his present experience of being involved in these extreme events.
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