Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bearing Witness

A magnificent piece by Jennifer Pierce on François Mauriac and Elie Wiesel. To quote
The result of that meeting between the elderly, Catholic Mauriac and the young, Jewish Wiesel resulted in La Nuit or Night, the Nobel Prize-winning testimony of Wiesel's experience in the camps and his career as witness -- to both the travesty of the Shoah and his unfailing belief in God in the face of ineffable horror. A witness supported and enabled through another man's loving witness, a man unafraid to say the name Christ into the blackest of pits. The original title for Wiesel's work was Un di velt hot geshvign, Yiddish for "And the World Stayed Silent" -- a link to Celan's despairing cry that no one bears witness to the witness. Celan, who entered his poetry into that silence, took his own life in the River Seine. Wiesel, however, still stands as a living witness, replacing the poison Mauriac drew from him with an intonation of the name we are promised will stop any deadly thing from doing us harm.

No comments: