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Aversion and ErasureThe Fate of the Victim After the Holocaust$
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Carolyn J. Dean

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449444

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449444.001.0001

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(p.143) 4 Erasures
Aversion and Erasure

Carolyn J. Dean

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on how discussions and debates about trauma often inadvertently erase victims' experiences and identities in order to identify real victims. Victims' memoirs say a great deal about how their authors are made to feel that they impose on others, become objects of contempt or pity by virtue of their demands, or have experiences whose painfulness is blotted out by those who care the most for them. These erasures, which mean “our” often inadvertent refusal to acknowledge fully victims' past or present suffering, are rarely discussed, and certainly not in terms of the discomfort victims arouse. Moreover, these erasures are repeated, ironically, in diverse disciplinary discourses, all of which seek to recover the survivor's experience.

Keywords:   trauma, victims, memoirs, survivors, Holocaust, Jews

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