Julia Creet (York University, Canada)

The Journey: H.G. Adler as Modernist Historiographer

Frankfurt, 15 May 2018 12-2 pm // IG 1.414 (Campus Westend)

Photo courtesy of Luzzi Wolgensinger

A survivor of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald, H.G. Adler was one of a small number of German-speaking Jews to write extensively about his experience, producing a vast and complex Gesamtkunstwerk. He remained little known in North America (and not much better known in Germany) until Peter Filkin’s translation of The Journey—the first of a trilogy of holocaust novels—into English in 2009.

This talk will introduce Adler as a modernist historiographer where the integration of the biographical, the historical and the literary becomes not just a question of the genre of a work but also a quality of its history of publication and reception. The latter part of the talk will focus on a reading of the deictic voice in Alder’s The Journey, including the difficulties of its translation.

Julia Creet is an Associate Professor of English at York University in Toronto. She teaches memory studies, literary nonfiction and satire. She is the co-editor (with Andreas Kitzmann) of Memory and Migration—Multidisciplinary Approaches to Memory Studies (University of Toronto Press 2011, paper 2014) and co-editor (with Sara Horowitz and Amira Dan) of H.G. Adler: Life, Literature, Legacy (Northwestern UP, 2016), winner of the Jewish Thought and Culture Award from the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards. She is also the director and producer of “MUM: A Story of Silence” (38 min 2008), a documentary about a Holocaust survivor who tried to forget and “Data Mining the Deceased” (56 mins 2016, HD), a documentary about the industry of family history. The Genealogical Sublime, a book about the accumulation of genealogical data, will be published by U. Mass Press in 2019.

If you are interested in attending this talk, please send an e-mail to Maria Dorr at hueren[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de in order to receive preparatory reading material.