After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the by C. Fred Alford

By C. Fred Alford

The Holocaust marks a decisive second in smooth discomfort during which it turns into nearly most unlikely to discover which means or redemption within the event. during this learn, C. Fred Alford deals a brand new and considerate exam of the adventure of discomfort. relocating from the e-book of task, an account of significant agony in a God-drenched international, to the paintings of Primo Levi, who tried to discover that means within the Holocaust via absolute readability of perception, he concludes that neither process works good in latest international. more suitable are the daily coping practices of a few survivors. Drawing on tales of survivors from the Fortunoff Video data, Alford additionally applies the paintings of Julia Kristeva and the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot to his exam of a subject matter that has been and is still relevant to human event.

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Additional info for After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction

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Indeed, one has the impression that it was no easy task. To walk the depths of the sea To see behind the gates of death. ] To conduct the light from its home, and back again. ” Do you bring out the stars as they are due? Guide the Great Bear and her young? Do you know the laws that rule the sky? And can you make it control the earth? (38:16–33, omitting lines) On and on God goes, His questions becoming more elaborate, so that they soon become short essays on the beauty and wonder of the universe that He has created.

That He has no pity or moral consolation to offer humanity? That He is not a God who cares for humans? Indeed, He is not a God who seems to pay much attention to humans. God’s initial encounter with Satan was evidently a rare distraction. God is primarily interested in pondering the perfection of His creation. The true or inner righteousness of characters like Job seems but a passing interest of God when compared to His true concern: contemplating the sublime wonder of His kingdom. To be sure, there is consolation for humans in knowing this.

Job’s experience is not quite the same. Not the rhythm of the experience but rather something about the fact that the world that does not care is revealed to him by a God who does not care allows Job to mourn what it means to be human. Winnicott said that the only way to appreciate transitional space is not to push the paradox, not to ask whether it is really me or not me. Perhaps it is time to appreciate Job’s ability to grasp God’s irony: the God who does not care introduces Job to a nature that does not care but, somehow in the end, Job feels cared for by God – or rather held by God’s world: they amount to almost the same thing.

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