Elie Wiesel and the Art of Storytelling


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About the Book

Elie Wiesel is a master storyteller with the ability to use storytelling as a form of activism. From his landmark memoir Night to his novels and numerous retellings of Hasidic legends, Wiesel’s literature emphasizes storytelling, and he frequently refers to himself as a storyteller rather than an author or historian. In this work, essays examine Wiesel’s roots in Jewish storytelling traditions; influences from religious, folk, and secular sources; education; Yiddish background; Holocaust experience; and writing style. Emphasized throughout is Wiesel’s use of multiple sources in an effort to reach diverse audiences.

About the Author(s)

The late Rosemary Horowitz was a professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She published extensively on Jewish topics.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Rosemary Horowitz

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2869-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8268-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface       1
Introduction      3
Mosaics and Mirrors: Wiesel, American Autobiographies, and the Shaping of a Storied Subject      15
Creative Ambiguity in Wiesel’s Storytelling      38
Elie Wiesel: Telling Stories of Children and Loss      57
The Storyteller and His Quarrel with God      71
Wrestling with Oblivion: Wiesel’s Autobiographical Storytelling as Midrash      90
The Maggid of Sighet: Jewish Contexts for Wiesel’s Storytelling      102
Laughter and the Limits of Holocaust Storytelling: Wiesel’s The Gates of the Forest      123
Transfiguration      56
The Artist as Witness, Prophet, and Encourager      182
Shaliach Tzibor: Wiesel as Storyteller of His People      197
Teaching Beyond the Text: Examining and Acting On the Moral Aspects of Night      212
Afterword: Night—the Memoir—a Promise Fulfilled      226
About the Contributors      231
Index      235

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