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Concentrationary Art: Jean Cayrol, the Lazarean and the Everyday in Post-war Film, Literature, Music and the Visual Arts

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Concentrationary Art

Jean Cayrol, the Lazarean and the Everyday in Post-war Film, Literature, Music and the Visual Arts

Edited by Griselda Pollock and Max Silverman

272 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-970-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78533-971-4 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The volume is a true labour of love, makes for fascinating reading, and at last offers us Cayrol in English translation…The articles take us on a fascinating journey in which Cayrol’s idea of the concentrationary and the figure of Lazarus are explored as theories with their own histories…These analyses across different artistic forms and historical periods demonstrate how fertile Cayrol’s ideas were.” • Modern Language Review

“This is a politically urgent volume and an excellent resource for anyone studying the cultural or representational legacies of the concentration camp ‘as both event and form’, its (post)traumatic manifestations or memory in the contemporary world.” • Textual Practice

Concentrationary Art is invariably intellectually exhilarating to read, and is hard to put down. It puts forward a new and cogent aesthetic theory in its analysis not only of the wartime ‘concentrationary’, but also of the role of the survivor in a post-war world where traces of the same phenomena persist unseen in the everyday.” • Sue Vice, University of Sheffield

“This is an authoritative, clear, and insightful book. The contributions to this excellent volume offer a novel take on the concentrationary and provide a wider understanding of post-Holocaust art.” • Kathryn Robson, Newcastle University


Largely forgotten over the years, the seminal work of French poet, novelist and camp survivor Jean Cayrol has experienced a revival in the French-speaking world since his death in 2005. His concept of a concentrationary art—the need for an urgent and constant aesthetic resistance to the continuing effects of the concentrationary universe—proved to be a major influence for Hannah Arendt and other writers and theorists across a number of disciplines. Concentrationary Art presents the first translation into English of Jean Cayrol’s key essays on the subject, as well as the first book-length study of how we might situate and elaborate his concept of a Lazarean aesthetic in cultural theory, literature, cinema, music and contemporary art.

Griselda Pollock is Professor of Social & Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory & History at the University of Leeds. Her many publications include After-Affects/After-Images: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation in the Virtual Feminist Museum (2012) and Charlotte Salomon in the Theatre of Memory (2018). She co-edited Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais's Night and Fog (2012).

Max Silverman is Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Leeds. He has written on cultural memory, representations of the Holocaust, and post-colonial theory and cultures. His publications include Palimpsestic Memory: The Holocaust and Colonialism in French and Francophone Fiction and Film (2013). He co-edited Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais's Night and Fog (2012).

Subject: Literary Studies Film and Television Studies History: 20th Century to Present Memory Studies
Area: France Germany


List of Illustrations

Introduction: Lazarus and the Modern World
Max Silverman

Jean Cayrol

Lazarean Dreams
Lazarean Literature


Chapter 1. Lazarean Writing in Post-war France
Patrick ffrench

Chapter 2. The Perpetual Anxiety of Lazarus: The Gaze, the Tomb, and the Body in the Shroud
Griselda Pollock


Chapter 3. Concentrationary Art and the Reading of Everyday Life: (In)human Spaces in Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)
Max Silverman

Chapter 4. Cinematic Work as Concentrationary Art in Laurent Cantet’s Ressources Humaines (1999)
Matthew John

Chapter 5. After Haunting: A Conceptualization of the Lazarean Image
Benjamin Hannavy Cousen

Chapter 6. Lazarean Sound: The Autonomy of the Auditory from Hanns Eisler (Nuit et Brouillard, 1955) to Susan Philipsz (Night and Fog, 2016)
Griselda Pollock

Concluding Remarks
Griselda Pollock


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