"I Will Remain Silence and Scream": Edmond Jabès and the Wound and Witness of Language

Ploeg, Andrew J.
January 2012
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies;Winter2012, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p91
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
This essay argues that Edmond Jabès's The Book of Questions, Volume I radically questions the presumably inherent authority of the witness in distinct yet interconnected ways. Heavily influenced by Derridian deconstruction, his text challenges conventional assumptions involving the witness, particularly the implied extra-textuality of horrific events (such as the Holocaust) and of those who provide testimony to them. Jabès's unique rethinking of the witness is made even more legible through the productive parallel he draws between the Jew and the writer. This parallel, for the author, is a reflection of the inescapable status of both as witnesses to the originary wound of language. Further, Jabès complicates the authority of the witness through his insertion of a rabbinical commentary throughout his text, a framework that fundamentally blurs distinctions between testimony and its interpretation.


Related Articles

  • The Task of Testimony. Stark, Jared // History & Memory;Fall/Winter1999, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p37 

    Presents an article about Jewish holocaust testimonies. Overview of the book 'No Common Place: The Holocaust Testimony of Alina Bacall-Zwirn'; Details of the development of a video version of the book; Description of the holocaust.

  • The Book of Questions (Book). Fuchs, Marcia G. // Library Journal;6/1/1983, Vol. 108 Issue 11, p1157 

    Reviews the book '.

  • The Book of Questions (Book Review). Palencia, Elaine F. // LJ: Library Journal;3/1/1976, Vol. 101 Issue 5, p720 

    Reviews the book 'The Book of Questions,' by Edmond Jabes.

  • Moralpolitik versus Moralpolitik. Langenbacher, Eric // German Politics & Society;Fall2005, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p106 

    The article discusses the resurgence of memories of German suffering in German collective memories during the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Jewish Holocaust and Nazism in 2005. The discourse would be much enriched due to full access to all witnesses and official documents. The...

  • The Bureaucrat.  // Time;6/30/1961, Vol. 77 Issue 27, p20 

    The article discusses the life and works of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann. It mentions that at night, Eichmann pored over his files until his eyes watered with weariness in his cell. It stresses that Eichmann did not take his oath in a Bible because he was not bound by any faith when he was tasked...

  • After the Witness. Rothberg, Michael; Stark, Jared // History & Memory;Spring/Summer2003, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p85 

    Discusses issues raised in The Contribution of Oral Testimony to Holocaust and Genocide Studies conference in the U.S. from October 6 to 8, 2002. Practical and ethical dimensions of recording testimonies; Relationship between Holocaust and Gulag literature and between responses to the Native...

  • The Escapist: Fantasy, Folklore, and the Pleasures of the Comic Book in Recent Jewish American Holocaust Fiction. Behlman, Lee // Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies;Spring2004, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p56 

    Jewish American writers addressing the Holocaust in fiction have encountered a daunting set of moral and aesthetic difficulties. Among these are the seemingly unbridgeable historical divide between a relatively comfortable American Jewish present and the dark European past and the inadequacy of...

  • Thinking the Unthinkable as a Form of Dissensus: The Case of the Witness. Ascher, Anat // Transformations (14443775);2011, Issue 19, p1 

    This article discusses the possible political ramifications of bearing witness that can be derived from Rancière's politico-aesthetic thought. Two misguided argumentations that Rancière ceaselessly tries to uproot - Lyotard's notion of complete Otherness and Agamben's analysis of the...

  • THE LIBERATORS: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust.  // Kirkus Reviews;1/1/2010, Vol. 78 Issue 1, p28 

    The article reviews the book "The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust," by Michael Hirsch.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics