Much more than night

I’m beginning to put together my fall ’09 course, Representations of the Holocaust. I’m not a big fan of Wiesel’s Night (not for lack of trying to admire it) but I still insist that the students read the original non-Oprah edition. Don’t know if that less puffed-up version is available in sufficient quantities. Night, to me, is on one end of a spectrum of representations; Lanzmann’s Shoah is on the other. My students and I will watch all 9.5 hours of Shoah in one sitting on a Sunday. They complain bitterly and this itself becomes a major topic for discussion. If you look at the reading schedule, you can see that I’m convinced that Primo Levi is the one — the writer through which I feel the problems of representing this genocide can be most compellingly addressed. We also view a sampling of survivor testimonies from the great Yale video archive. Here are the links I provide the students.