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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.178) Epilogue
Aversion and Erasure

Carolyn J. Dean

Cornell University Press

This chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. This book has focused on critics' effort to return to an empirical history of injury deemed overwhelmed by memory, itself related to the iconic and thus ahistorical status granted Auschwitz and, by proxy, Jewish memory. The status of Auschwitz as an icon of evil in our time has generated the evacuation of historical in favor of the moral content of suffering that leads to the peculiar concept of “too much” memory. This pervasive reference to “excessive” or “surfeit” memory is the most problematic figuration of victims' demands for recognition. The concept of surfeit memory should be recast and envisioned properly as a transformation of victims into aggressors who threaten the tranquility of those whose memories are acknowledged.

Keywords:   victim culture, Jewish memory, Holocaust, Auschwitz, suffering, surfeit memory

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