Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Charles Reznikoff (August 30, 1894)

Reznikoff is a very obscure poet whose works I ought to read (except I never read poetry).

I recently read this about his work Holocaust:
"Published just a year before his death in 1976, Holocaust was Reznikoff's last book. It, too, draws on court records, this time The Trials of the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg and the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. The literal, matter-of-fact style that Reznikoff uses in the poem is not accidental; it is a conscious technical choice. The horrors of the death camps are placed starkly before us in the words of the survivors, and the poet's selection process denies the reader the opportunity to look away. It also deprives us of any sense of catharsis; these things happened and no good came of them."

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