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Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:52:59 EDT by admin, 56682 views
Stony Brook University & New York University
Cultural Studies paper by Vasvári, Louise O. (all papers)
1944-2014: Hungarian Women's Fragmented Memories and Memoirs & Holocaust Cookbooks
In this paper I explore the Hungarian Holocaust through women’s fragmentary narrative testimonies, which can provide invaluable resources for understanding the experiences of the victims of war that personalize the events and at the same time serve to help write the obscure into history. I will first discuss several Hungarian diaries, among others, that of Eva Heyman who began writing her diary in 1944 on her thirteenth birthday and wrote until two days before her deportation, where she perished. Unlike diaries written in many other parts of Europe, in which the escalation of repression against the Jews unfolded over a period of years, Eva’s diary vividly reflects the sudden and swift attack on the Jews of Hungary.
In the second part of my paper I will discuss two recently published volumes, the Szakácskönyv a túlélélésről, the collected recipes that five Hungarian women wrote in a concentration camp, and the anthology Lányok és anyák. Elmeséletlen történetek where thirty five women write Holocaust narratives in which their mothers’ lives become the intersubject in their autobiographies, underscoring the deadly risks of intergenerational transmission, where memory can be transmitted (or silenced) to be repeated and reenacted, rather than to be worked through.
Brief Professional Bio:
Louise O. Vasvári (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Linguistics at Stony Brook University and presently teaches in the Linguistics Department at New York University. She works in medieval studies, historical and socio-linguistics, translation theory, Holocaust Studies, and Hungarian Studies, all informed by gender theory within a broader framework of comparative cultural studies. Related to Hungarian Studies she has published with Steven Tötösy, Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature (2005), Comparative Central European Holocaust Studies (2009), a special issue of CLCWeb (2009), as well as Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies (2011), all in Purdue UP. In the 2010 issue of this journal she published “A töredékes (kulturális) test írása Polcz Alaine Asszony a fronton című művében.” She is the Editor of AHEA E-Journal.