Trauma and Utopia: Benjamin, Adorno, and Elie Wiesel's Night

Schweighauser, Philipp. (2013) Trauma and Utopia: Benjamin, Adorno, and Elie Wiesel's Night. In: Haunted Narratives: Life Writing in an Age of Trauma. Toronto, pp. 45-84.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5843636

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This esssay draws on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno to explore the relations between two notions that seem opposed to one another at first sight: trauma and utopia. Writing against the background of the First World War, the Second World War, and the Holocaust, both Frankfurt School theorists insist on the difficulty of thinking utopia in times of trauma. For both, utopia must not be depicted from within a radically debased world. At the same time, they join Elie Wiesel, who in his radically dark Holocaust memoir Night asserts that the utopian imagination is needed in a world that has seen the Shoah because utopias promise to liberate the individual and open the present up to that which may transcend it.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
UniBasel Contributors:Schweighauser, Philipp
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:University of Toronto Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:08 May 2018 10:06
Deposited On:24 May 2013 09:10

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