In Louis Begley's remarkable work of Holocaust fiction, Wartime Lies, the narrator muses, "The issue was the limit of one's inventiveness and memory." The "issue" refers to the narrator's struggles, within the context of the novel, to conceal his Jewish identity, yet the "limit" of which he speaks can be understood as standing for the pervasive problem of representing the Holocaust. As an event that "has changed the basis for the continuity of the conditions of life within history," the Holocaust has raised crucial questions concerning the capacity of various representational grammars to describe, explain, and make sense of the Nazi genocide. These questions, while of pressing concern to professional historians, apply with equal force to those discourses, such as the juridical and the fictional, that are often enlisted to support the project of securing history in responsible memory.
"Wartime Lies: Securing the Holocaust in Law and Literature,"
Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol7/iss2/4