By C. Fred Alford
The Holocaust marks a decisive second in smooth ache during which it turns into virtually most unlikely to discover which means or redemption within the event. during this examine, C. Fred Alford deals a brand new and considerate exam of the adventure of discomfort. relocating from the publication of task, an account of significant pain in a God-drenched international, to the paintings of Primo Levi, who tried to discover that means within the Holocaust via absolute readability of perception, he concludes that neither process works good in ultra-modern global. more beneficial are the daily coping practices of a few survivors. Drawing on stories of survivors from the Fortunoff Video data, Alford additionally applies the paintings of Julia Kristeva and the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot to his exam of a subject matter that has been and remains to be principal to human adventure.
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Additional info for After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction
Job’s experience is not quite the same. Not the rhythm of the experience but rather something about the fact that the world that does not care is revealed to him by a God who does not care allows Job to mourn what it means to be human. Winnicott said that the only way to appreciate transitional space is not to push the paradox, not to ask whether it is really me or not me. Perhaps it is time to appreciate Job’s ability to grasp God’s irony: the God who does not care introduces Job to a nature that does not care but, somehow in the end, Job feels cared for by God – or rather held by God’s world: they amount to almost the same thing.
Still new to the act of creation, God had yet to learn this about one of His creations: humanity. To be sure, Job acts with a certain manic ruthlessness, not merely in his desire to put God behind bars, so to speak, but also in the way he would treat God as a virtual equal in debate, if only he could. Job would belittle God, turning Him into a human on a larger scale. The very assumption is so arrogant that it seems only right to call it ruthless. Here, I am less interested in Job’s psychology than God’s.
However, whichever doctrine Job holds to (and likely it is almost identical to that of the Jewish authors of the text), surely it is heresy to claim that: God destroys the blameless and the wicked alike. (9:22) God mocks the despair of the innocent. (9:23) God would crush me for no reason but because he is strong and I am not; he would multiply my wounds for no good reason but to display his power. (9:19) 9 Virtually all commentators point out that Job does not commit blasphemy. True enough, but these same commentators generally assume that it is blasphemy, not heresy, that is at issue.
After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Path to Affliction by C. Fred Alford