Imre Kertész, the „Medium of Auschwitz“
9 May 2017 - 5 PM
Clara Royer (CEFRES, Prague)
To Imre Kertész, “Auschwitz” was the “Ecce homo” of two thousand years of European Christian culture. Such collapse of the so-called humanist culture led him to undertake a radical criticism of literature and of language. Analysing the totalitarian condition through his literary work, he strove to reconquer a free self through writing. Indeed, this existential practice enabled to become a creator, that is, to turn into the subject of his own creation. But how to create a work of art in such circumstances?
This lecture will try to cast some light on how Kertész strove to become “the Medium of Auschwitz” through a historical approach of the genesis of his literary work. It will appraise the historical and personal conditions of the birth of Kertész’s first published novel, Facelessness.