Remington Portable (Creative Work) and Constructive Distance: Jonathan Safran Foer’s 'Everything Is Illuminated' and Nicole Krauss’s 'Great House' as Models for Third-Generation Holocaust Fiction (Critical Essay)

Strakosch, Antonia (2013). Remington Portable (Creative Work) and Constructive Distance: Jonathan Safran Foer’s 'Everything Is Illuminated' and Nicole Krauss’s 'Great House' as Models for Third-Generation Holocaust Fiction (Critical Essay) MPhil Thesis, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2016.481

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Author Strakosch, Antonia
Thesis Title Remington Portable (Creative Work) and Constructive Distance: Jonathan Safran Foer’s 'Everything Is Illuminated' and Nicole Krauss’s 'Great House' as Models for Third-Generation Holocaust Fiction (Critical Essay)
Formatted title
Remington Portable (Creative Work) and Constructive Distance: Jonathan Safran Foer’s 'Everything Is Illuminated' and Nicole Krauss’s 'Great House' as Models for Third-Generation Holocaust Fiction (Critical Essay)
School, Centre or Institute School of English, Media Studies and Art History
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2016.481
Publication date 2013-03-18
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Venero Armanno
Judith Seaboyer
Total pages 317
Language eng
Subjects 2005 Literary Studies
1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Formatted abstract
This thesis comprises both a creative component, titled 'Remington Portable', and a critical essay, titled 'Constructive Distance'. The creative work seeks to explore the ethical and narrative complexities of third-generation Holocaust fiction outlined in the critical essay in the symbolic language of literature.

The creative component of this thesis is a magic-realist novel about the Holocaust narrated, in part, by a 1934 Remington 5 Portable typewriter. After lying derelict in a New York cellar for fifteen years, Remington is woken by his dead Master’s granddaughter—the troubled Sarah—who has travelled from Brisbane to uncover the mystery of her grandparents’ escape from Nazi Vienna. Remington agrees to help Sarah, but he soon discovers that his harrowing stories are falling on the deaf ears of a young woman battling her own traumatic past. Interspersed between this present-day narrative, Remington’s tales of old Vienna create a rich and disturbing portrait of a city—and a man—crumbling under the weight of prejudice. 1936, Vienna. Henry Mensel has it all. A successful veterinary practice. A Jewish background he has escaped. The latest Remington 5 Portable typewriter. But as the rising wave of anti-Semitism sweeps Europe, Henry will be forced to sacrifice more than he ever thought possible if he is to survive.

The critical essay in this thesis considers whether Marianne Hirsch’s notion of second-generation postmemory can legitimately apply to third-generation Holocaust survivors such as myself. From its position of generational distance, can the third generation reasonably claim to have inherited the trauma of the Holocaust? Or is our connection to the atrocity more nuanced and imprecise? Authors of third-generation fiction face a unique ethical conundrum, I argue, in that they are simultaneously connected to and twice-distanced from the event they seek to explore. To illustrate my argument, I analyse two third-generation texts, Jonathan Safran Foer’s 'Everything Is Illuminated' and Nicole Krauss’s 'Great House', to consider how their authors’ connection to and distance from the Holocaust manifests in the trope of distance.
Keyword Holocaust fiction
Transgenerational trauma
Postmemory
Third generation
Ethics
Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything Is Illuminated
Nicole Krauss
Great House

Document type: Thesis
Collections: UQ Theses (RHD) - Official
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
 
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Created: Mon, 04 Mar 2013, 16:45:28 EST by Antonia Strakosch on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service