Nathan Englander's New Stories

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Nathan Englander discusses his latest collection of short fiction, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories. The eight stories cover everything from the Yom Kippur War to a summer camp for elderly retirees.


Nathan Englander

Comments [4]

jgarbuz from Queens

to John of Office

Needless to say, "my people" are neurotic freethinkers, and democracy is very much an inborn Jewish instinct. But to me, fictionalizing, trivializing, monetizing the Holocaust is a sacred taboo. While Jews are well known opposers and uprooters of every status quo they see, and even atheism is tolerated now within Judaism, the fact is that our ancient scribes transmitted every single word of the Old Testament Hebrew Bible without changing a "tittle" as evidenced by the Dead Sea Scrolls. To me the story of the Holocaust must be transmitted without changing one tittle from what actually occurred - without any fictionalizing or imagining things. The facts, and only the facts, must be unearthed and passed on without any tinkering around the edges. Otherewise, it will be treated as mythology, as some are already treating as.

Jul. 03 2012 02:02 PM
Stella from Manhattan

Those of us who lost relatives in the Holocaust - people with nicknames, ink-stained fingers and pigtails whose letters stopped, who simply evaporated - find Holocaust memoirs cathartic. Is it "pathological" to seek answers
to unanswerable questions? Not knowing is often better than knowing, but reading Daniel Mendelsohn's search
for his own relatives in "The Lost" was unexpectedly cathartic for me. Knowing what happened to his family somehow made not knowing what happened to mine more bearable.

Jul. 03 2012 01:41 PM
John from office

jgarbuz from Queens
You are correct in your reaction. But, your people allow for much leeway, introspection and analysis. A strenght and a weakness.

Jul. 03 2012 01:40 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I think anyone who writes about the Holocaust who has not actually lost his OWN FAMILY MEMBERS, such as grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, children, etc. invariably trivialize, commercialize, monetize and cheapen it. And it doesn't matter if they happen to be Jewish or not.

There should a rabbinical ban against writing about or any way, God-forbid, fictionalizing any part of the Holocaust! It should be dealt with as pure history and not speculation. Facts not fiction should be the way the Holocaust topic should be treated.

Jul. 03 2012 01:24 PM

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