Moebian Nights

Reading Literature and Darkness

Moebian Nights

"I died at Auschwitz," French writer Charlotte Delbo asserts, "and nobody knows it." Moebian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness develops a new understanding of literary reading: that in the wake of disasters like the Holocaust, death remains a premise of our experience rather than a future. Les mer
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Moebian Nights

"I died at Auschwitz," French writer Charlotte Delbo asserts, "and nobody knows it." Moebian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness develops a new understanding of literary reading: that in the wake of disasters like the Holocaust, death remains a premise of our experience rather than a future.

Challenging customary "aesthetic" assumptions that we write in order not to die, Sandor Goodhart suggests (with Kafka) we write to die. Drawing upon analyses developed by Girard, Foucault, Blanchot, and Levinas (along with examples from Homer to Beckett), Moebian Nights proposes that all literature works "autobiographically", which is to say, in the wake of disaster; with the credo "I died; therefore, I am"; and for which the language of topology (for example, the "Moebius strip") offers a vocabulary for naming the "deep structure" of such literary, critical, and scriptural sacrificial and anti-sacrificial dynamics.

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: Moebian Turns: Difference as Continuity
1. After The Tragic Vision: Krieger and Criticism, Lentricchia and Crisis
2. Disfiguring de Man: Literature, History, and Collaboration
3. Witnessing the Impossible: Laub, Felman, and the Trauma of Testimony
4. Documenting Fiction: Kolitz, van Beeck, Levinas, and Holocaust Witness
5. "And Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep": Counter-Redemptive Hermeneutics in Wiesel, Mauriac, Cayrol, Blanchot, Levinas, and Genesis 1
6. Criticism, Literature, and the Moebian
7. Literarary Reading, the Moebian, and the Posthumous
Conclusion: Versions of Night: Reading Literature and Darkness

Bibliography
Index

Utilizing insights drawn from mathematical topology, from French critical theory and literature, and from Holocaust studies, Sandor Goodhart articulates a new understanding of the relation of literary reading to disaster.

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