1. On the surface, Borowski and Lispector write two very different stories, but both share themes of identity, rage, and the question of how the self relates to the other. Select one theme, and compare and contrast how Borowski and Lispector approach that theme. Include one quote from each author to support your point.
2. Adorno once said that writing poetry after the Holocaust is barbaric, but Celan and Amichai have risen to prominence as two extremely important poets. In fact, Celan and Amichai have been widely considered the two most important Jewish poets since the Holocaust. Celan’s “Deathfugue” is perhaps one of the most famous post-Holocaust poems, and it relies on repetition of phrases and metaphors (e.g. “black milk of morning,” “we drink you at night,” “your golden hair Margarete,” “your ashen hair Shulamite”). For what purpose does Celan use repetition and metaphor in “Deathfugue”? How do Celan’s metaphors (and use of metaphors) compare to those of Amichai?
3. Borowski’s story has been described as one of the first to
portray the concentration camps in the first person. What is the
effect of telling the story in the first person?
1. Norton Anthology of World Literature
Read “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen,” by
Taduesz Borowski, in Volume 2.
Read “Deathfugue,” “Aspen Tree,”
“Shibboleth,” by Paul Celan, in Volume 2.
Read “God Has Pity on Kindergarten Children,”
“Tourists,” “Jerusalem,” “An Arab
Shepherd Is Searching for His Goat on Mount Zion,” by Yehuda
Amichai, in Volume 2.
Read “The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman,” by Clarice
Lispector, in Volume 2.