Polish Literature of the Last Decade about the Holocaust – Attempts to Face the New Challenges Cover Image

Literatura polska ostatniego dziesięciolecia wobec Zagłady – próby odpowiedzi na nowe wzywania
Polish Literature of the Last Decade about the Holocaust – Attempts to Face the New Challenges

Author(s): Justyna Kowalska-Leder
Subject(s): Jewish studies
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów & IFiS PAN
Keywords: Polish literature during 2004–2014 and the Holocaust; literary testimonies of the second generation; children’s literature about the Holocaust; popular literature genres and the Holocaust; Polish literature and the massacre in Jedwabne; kitsch in Holocaus

Summary/Abstract: New topics and formal solutions have been emerging during the last decade in the Polish literature which takes up the subject matter of the Holocaust. First of all, these texts echo the discussions triggered by Jan Tomasz Gross’ well-known publications, particularly by his book Neighbours. The voice of the “second generation,” whose representatives give testimony to growing up “in the shadow of Auschwitz,” can be clearly heard in the literary statements of that period. Interestingly enough, there have also been many publications addressed to children and young readers, who were told about the Holocaust in a mature way and with avoidance of simplifications or childishness. The subject matter of the Holocaust tends to be more and more boldly taken up by the popular literature genres, such as, legal fiction, crime novels, thrillers, some of which draw from the poetics of horror or psychological thriller. Not all of them can be deemed successful for some clearly border on kitsch. Nonetheless, they show the direction of the development of the literature that takes up the subject matter of the Holocaust in the context of the passing of the last witnesses and survivors.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 768-802
  • Page Count: 35
  • Language: Polish