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

Rosa-Àuria Munté Ramos


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.



autofiction; life-history; Holocaust; collective memory; Jorge Semprún

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Copyright (c) 2011 Rosa-Àuria Munté Ramos

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