Oscillations in a Developing Discourse: History, Truth and Clichés Seven Decades after the Holocaust in Laurent Binet’s HHhH and Jáchym Topol’s The Devil’s Workshop
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Laurent Binet’s HHhH (2010) and Jáchym Topol’s The Devil’s Workshop, (2009) deal with the aftermath of the Holocaust in Western culture. Today the awareness of the importance of this event is deeply rooted in the collective memory. As a result, it has become ubiquitous in popular culture. Yet, the familiarity with the facts of the six million victims, the images of Auschwitz and the annual Remembrance Day have not necessarily enhanced the understanding of what has happened. Rather, a general tendency of unresponsiveness in regard to the Holocaust can be spotted. The current thesis will analyse how HHhH and The Devil’s Workhop deal with the numbness and indifference to the Shoah and how these novels try to break with the conventions by concomitantly drawing on them and subverting them. In this way, they reflect the gradually revised way of thinking about the Holocaust as well as its changed position within postmodern culture.