By Alan Rosen
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Extra info for Sounds of Defiance: The Holocaust, Multilingualism, and the Problem of English
Schpunt, politely, speaking this time in Polish: — Excuse me, I was born and raised right here in Warsaw – Ceglana Street – all my life. My German is rusty. Excuse me. Dolok [Berson] heard open laughter in the group of men who had been following Schpunt, and who had now fallen back in an audiencelike semicircle. Berson blushed and said sharply in Polish: — Your documents. Schpunt began fumbling hurriedly and humbly in his pockets. He asked in German: — Do you mean my work card? Or my ration card?
Those Yiddishized voices, bred in America, would not reflect the voices of the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto. They could, however, lead some readers to think that that is what they were hearing. For this reason, Hersey resisted the temptation and virtually excluded dialect from the novel. ” Published in 1947, some three years before The Wall, the story recounts a postwar encounter in New York between a survivor and her American (or Americanized) relatives. ” The driver started up his taxi without hesitation, and Luba was pleased, for it was one thing to affect English in Prague and another to be able to have it understood in New York.
When we look at the role of English in Art Spiegelman’s Maus, we will once more see English play such a role in Auschwitz-Birkenau. 0pt Pg ——— Normal Pa PgEnds: TE , (12) Evidence of Trauma 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 31 again and again, ransoming a life not in one camp but several. In Maus, furthermore, the magic of English will not be hidden from view; we will see exactly how, with whom, and for what reasons English wields its leverage.