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Mihăilescu, Dana: "Transnational conundrums around trips by young people to Holocaust death camps. Ethical potentialities of incongruous memories in Thomas Duranteau’s travelogue Des miettes et desétoiles." In: French Cultural Studies 27.4 (2016), S. 348–360.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Mihilescu2016
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Keywords: "Des miettes et des étoiles", Duranteau. Thomas, Ethik, Frankreich, Holocaust, Reisebericht
Collection: French Cultural Studies
My paper examines a 2012 travelogue by young French historian Thomas Duranteau, Des miettes et des étoiles, which brings together testimonies by Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors, Duranteau’s notes during his five-day trip to the camp, the drawings he made out of these encounters and three graphic vignettes coupling an extract from the diary of an SS doctor from Auschwitz and two imagined encounters with a faceless child born and killed in Birkenau and a lonely old man from Treblinka. My major goal is to answer two core questions: how can contemporary trips to Holocaust death camps avoid becoming forms of trivialization or manipulation of the Holocaust? Can Duranteau’s artistic representation that uses and reframes images of the past function as a positive project inscribing these sites in a transnational context which relies on a fundamental questioning of what being human means? In response, I contend that Duranteau’s narrative foregrounds the ethical potentialities of incongruous memory lenses based on an acute awareness of temporal distances, dislocations and ambiguous positionings of various generations.
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