The article will discuss the specific character of testimony about traumatic experiences of the World War II, particularly those from the concentration camps. Presented are the main points of view from the Anglo-American trauma theory regarding the modes of expressing such an experience (C. Caruth, H. White, D. La Capra). Through the example of the unpublished remembrances of Milojka Mezorana dealing with Auschwitz, we will discuss the relationship of a historiographer to a witness, and also the question of power established over the testimonial text when the same is used as a source of exact historiography knowledge. The status of testimony in historiography expands in range from its distanced use exclusively as a source of searchable data, to historiographer’s empathic immersion in witness' inability to articulate one’s experience in a discourse. We will present arguments for the “middle position” of a secondary witness between these two poles, taking into account the difficulty of testifying and the susceptibility of a testimony to discourse, but also the witness' appeal to give credence to his or her testimony. We will speak in favor of establishing the testimony archives, the institutions that would enable respect of the specific narrative working over traumatic experiences as a process without end.

Testimony Between Historiography and Literature

BADURINA, Natka
2013

Abstract

The article will discuss the specific character of testimony about traumatic experiences of the World War II, particularly those from the concentration camps. Presented are the main points of view from the Anglo-American trauma theory regarding the modes of expressing such an experience (C. Caruth, H. White, D. La Capra). Through the example of the unpublished remembrances of Milojka Mezorana dealing with Auschwitz, we will discuss the relationship of a historiographer to a witness, and also the question of power established over the testimonial text when the same is used as a source of exact historiography knowledge. The status of testimony in historiography expands in range from its distanced use exclusively as a source of searchable data, to historiographer’s empathic immersion in witness' inability to articulate one’s experience in a discourse. We will present arguments for the “middle position” of a secondary witness between these two poles, taking into account the difficulty of testifying and the susceptibility of a testimony to discourse, but also the witness' appeal to give credence to his or her testimony. We will speak in favor of establishing the testimony archives, the institutions that would enable respect of the specific narrative working over traumatic experiences as a process without end.
9789536020720
9789536955428
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/865098
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