Gulag Literature and the Literature of Nazi Camps: An Intercontexual Reading

Citation:

Toker, Leona. Gulag Literature and the Literature of Nazi Camps: An Intercontexual Reading. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019. Print.
Gulag Literature and the Literature of Nazi Camps: An Intercontexual Reading

Abstract:

Devoted to the ways in which Holocaust literature and gulag literature provide contexts for each other, Leona Toker's Gulag Literature and the Literature of Nazi Camps shows how the prominent features of one shed light on the veiled features and methods of the other. Toker views these narratives and texts against the background of historical information about the Soviet and the Nazi regimes of repression. Writers at the center of this work include Varlam Shalamov, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Ka-Tzetnik, and others including Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Evgeniya Ginzburg, and Jorge Semprun illuminate the discussion. Toker’s twofold analysis concentrates on the narrative qualities of the works as well as how each text documents the writer’s experience. She provides insight into how fictionalized narrative can double as historical testimony, how references to events might have become obscure owing to the passage of time and the cultural diversity of readers, and how these references form new meaning in the text. Toker is well-known as a skillful interpreter of gulag literature, and this text presents new thinking about how gulag literature and Holocaust literature enable a better understanding about testimony in the face of evil. 

Last updated on 08/11/2020