In her article "Evoking a Memory of the Future in Foer's Everything is Illuminated" Doro Wiese discusses Jonathan Safran Foer's novel. In the text a photograph plays a decisive role: the image of two young people drives the Jewish American Jonathan to visit the Ukraine. The photograph is presumably of Jonathan's grandfather Safran and a woman named Augustine who saved Safran's life during a nazi raid of his village: the photograph becomes an ekphrasis, a description of a visual work of art in another medium which transforms the generic characteristics of written and photographic representations. According to Anselm Haverkamp, photographs are visual citations from history and about history: they show not only people and/or objects at a specific moment in time, but also point towards the irretrievability of that moment. Yet, when photography is transposed into another medium that performs the effects of a confrontation with the given-to-deathness of the people displayed, photography-in-ekphrasis might perform not only mourning over the irretrievability of the life that is lost, but the ethical necessity to resist the devaluation of life in the present.
"Evoking a Memory of the Future in Foer's Everything is Illuminated."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 341 times as of 06/17/13.
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.
American Studies Commons, Comparative Literature Commons, Education Commons, European Languages and Societies Commons, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other Arts and Humanities Commons, Other Film and Media Studies Commons, Reading and Language Commons, Rhetoric and Composition Commons, Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons, Television Commons, Theatre and Performance Studies Commons