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The sense of semblance; philosophical analyses of Holocaust art.


The sense of semblance; philosophical analyses of Holocaust art.

Pickford, Henry W.

Fordham University Press


280 pages




Pickford (German, U. of Colorado) outlines a normative philosophical-aesthetic framework for assessing the success or failure of artwork about the Holocaust and applies it to the examination of specific individual artworks. Drawing on the language of the "postmodern dichotomy," Theodor Adorno's philosophical aesthetics, and recent Anglophone philosophy, he argues that the successful Holocaust artwork "must both maintain and disintegrate aesthetic semblance in a negative-dialectical relationship in which aesthetic and historical elements, processes, properties constitute the artwork without achieving a harmonious, dialectically synthesized unity." In light of this judgment, he assesses the poetry of Paul Celan, the Neue Wache and Bavarian Quarter memorials in Berlin, and the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman, among other works.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Apr 1, 2013
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