The Convergence of Historical Facts and Literary Fiction: Jorge SEMPRÚN's Autofiction on the Holocaust

  • Rosa-Àuria Munté Ramos University Ramon Llull
Keywords: autofiction, life-history, Holocaust, collective memory, Jorge Semprún

Abstract

There are many testimonies preserved in archives that recount the horror of the Holocaust and that have become resources for historical and social research. In addition to testimonies produced with descriptive intention or in the full awareness of becoming documents for historians, some testimony writers have signed their books with a literary intention, but the very nucleus of their work is to explain the nature of their experience in the concentration camps without resorting to describing their own cases. These works blur the boundaries between history and literature, because, while they present themselves as works of fiction, they feed on testimonial autobiography. The testimony writers want to explain the horror that they experienced by fictionalizing their own experience. These are works which contain truth and which are narrated with a literary intention, works which reach a general audience and have a profound impact. This is the case of the Spanish writer Jorge SEMPRÚN, who attempts to "invent" the truth in his literary work. His autobiographic-novelistic testimony is situated in the ambiguous no-man's-land of autofiction.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1103144

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Author Biography

Rosa-Àuria Munté Ramos, University Ramon Llull

Rosa-Àuria MUNTÉ RAMOS obtained a bachelor's degree in Humanities from Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. After obtaining a research scholarship, she also started working as a lecturer at the Blanquerna School of Communication of Ramon Llull University (Barcelona), where she finished her master's thesis on Holocaust narration. She is currently working on her PhD about literary fiction of the Holocaust. She is a member of the research group "Violence and Media" of the School of Communication of the University Ramon Llull. She has been member of a research group for the Spanish Ministry of Education about "Childhood, Violence and Television. TV Uses and Children's Perception of Violence in TV" She also has participated in the research "Couple Stereotypes Representation in TV Serial Fiction" for the Catalan Women's Institute (ICD) and Audiovisual Council of Catalonia (CAC). She has participated in the development of pedagogic materials for primary and secondary pupils about the mass media and how to use the media, in a public project for Barcelona City Council, and for a project for ONCE (the National Spanish Association for the Blind). She also has participated in an applied research project about video games and multimedia material financed by Abacus and Ethos Cathedra. Her interests include Holocaust narratives, violence in mass media and children's reception, and writing teaching materials.

Published
2011-09-23
Section
Theoretical and Methodological Reflections on Qualitative Archives and Biographical Research Methods