The witness who may not have been there:Eastern European authors looking westward

Author/s: Eva R Hudecova, PhD
Availability: Open Access
Type: Dissertation
Year: 2009

Abstract: Using the tool of witnessing, Eastern European authors look westward intending to facilitate the reemergence of what the West imagines to be its limit-space: Eastern Europe. It is my dissertation's goal to increase the West's literacy about the history and culture of a region different from the West, yet one which the West increasingly considers the same. Through an examination of German, Slovak, and Polish writers, my dissertation reframes testimonial literature as a basis for communication between the Eastern writer and Western reader, bringing Trauma Studies, Eastern European Area Studies and Comparative Literature Studies into dialogue. I call this reframing of testimonial literature removed witnessing, since it is a witnessing very different from the narrow legal definition of testimony. In removed witnessing, bodily presence of the witness at an event is possible but not absolutely required. It is in the medium of literature that this kind of witnessing can be established.

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