Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: After the Fact: Encounters in Holocaust Testimony
Authors: Werbe, Charlotte France
Advisors: Trezise, Thomas
Contributors: French and Italian Department
Keywords: Cinema
Graphic Novel
World War II
Subjects: French literature
Holocaust studies
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: “After the Fact: Encounters in Holocaust Testimony” examines the self-reflexive testimonial projects of Charlotte Delbo, Claude Lanzmann, and Art Spiegelman. This dissertation analyzes the social and mediatic conditions that are brought to bear on the production and reception of Holocaust testimony. My first chapter argues that Charlotte Delbo transposes the formal innovations of her first work, Les Belles lettres (1961), into Mesure de nos jours (1971), a volume comprised of Delbo’s friends’ testimonies from the postwar period. Delbo’s unconventional approach for gathering testimony gestures toward the way that testimony can challenge, rather than reinforce, conventional ways of thinking about memory, truth, and experience. My second chapter puts Claude Lanzmann’s documentary film Shoah (1985) in conversation with the video interviews conducted at archival centers in the United States by examining the techniques these projects use for recording testimony. Lanzmann’s visible interventions call attention to the social situatedness of testimony, thereby granting agency to his witnesses and viewers alike. Finally, my third chapter examines Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus (1986, 1991). I contend that Spiegelman emphasizes the various sites of tension that are proper to the comic book medium in order to promote reading practices that can account for the “frame conditions” that mediate testimony. My corpus prioritizes disruption by spotlighting the ways in which testimony is always mediated. Collectively, these artists redefine notions of truth and fact that have been central to the configuration and consumption of Holocaust testimony over the past seventy years.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:French and Italian

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2020-12-13. For more information contact the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.