Anne Stevenson (with Michael Farley): On "Holocaust"

When we come to the end of Holocaust (granted, it is a poem, not a play) we want to find a place to be sick. No poet has ever written a book so nakedly shocking, so blatantly calculated to make us feel that the Nazi persecution of the Jews can never be fictionalized or abstracted into "literature." One marvels at the courage Reznikoff must have drawn upon to write it. Yet it is because Holocaust is written--every word and fact of it--that it is believable. Reznikoff deprives us of our coveted catharsis while he gives us no excuse for forgiving ourselves (who in some sense does not share in the perpetration of such crimes?) through abstract understanding. No wonder Reznikoff has never been a popular writer.


Title Anne Stevenson (with Michael Farley): On "Holocaust" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Milton Hindus Criticism Target Charles Reznikoff
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 25 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication "Charles Reznikoff In His Tradition"
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