Kanadától Kanadáig

Bernice Eisenstein és a másodgenerációs holokausztemlékezet-irodalom

  • Vilmos Eszter Pécsi Tudományegyetem Bölcsészettudományi Kar Irodalomtudományi Doktori Iskola


From Kanada to Canada: Bernice Eisenstein and Second-Generation Holocaust Literature

The Canadian author Bernice Eisenstein is a daughter of Holocaust survivors and immigrants. Her illustrated autobiographical novel I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors could be one of the cornerstones of second-generation Holocaust literature, for it represents all the major topics, problems and questions in the art of Holocaust postmemory. We can observe the ever-present dialogue with the generation of witnesses, both in a personal and in a cultural context. Eisenstein reflects on the unceasing doubt concerning writing about the Holocaust without having witnessed it, focusing on the ambivalent situation of not-being-there, while shedding light on the indirectness of the experience. The novel also discusses the problem of language in an immigrant setting, also the literary use of language while aiming to represent the unrepresentable. Pictures have a particularly important role in this half-graphic novel, among others in reimagining some well-known Holocaust photographs. The book also poses questions on the mediating role of a second-generation Holocaust survivor, and on Jewish identity.