At the age of fourteen, the Hungarian author Imre Kertész was deported to the Nazi concentration camps. The Nobel Prize winner’s masterpiece, Fatelessness, is an elusive fictional account of the year he spent as a prisoner. Prof. Derwin will discuss how the novel offers insight into the role of the imagination in helping the survivor recover from trauma.
Susan Derwin is Professor in the department of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies at UC Santa Barbara and is also affiliated with the Comparative Literature Program. She researches in the fields of Holocaust studies, humanities and human rights, and nineteenth and twentieth century narrative. Her publications include The Ambivalence of Form: Lukács, Freud, and the Novel ( Johns Hopkins UP, 1992), essays on Holocaust denial, the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance, Huckleberry Finn, Blue Velvet and the essays of M.F.K. Fisher. She is presently working on a book called Holocaust Narratives: The Rage that Never Was about the relationship between narrative and healing in texts by Jean Améry, Primo Levi, Saul Friedländer Kertész, Binjamin Wilkomirski and in Liliane Cavani’s film The Night Porter.