H. G. Adler’s Novel of Life after Auschwitz https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/uncategorized/2014/12/h-g-adlers-novel-of-life-after-auschwitz/

December 12, 2014 | Adam Kirsch
About the author: Adam Kirsch, a poet and literary critic, is the author of, among other books, Benjamin Disraeli and The People and The Books: Eighteen Classics of Jewish Literature.

H. G. Adler is best known (to the extent that he is known at all) for his sociological studies of the Holocaust. But he also wrote a series of novels based on his own experiences at Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, and his life after the war. The last of these, The Wall, recently made available in English, deals with the burdens of survival. Adam Kirsch writes:

Of all the different genres of Holocaust literature, the survivor’s story is perhaps the most challenging. It is the story of an aftermath, of a life lived in the shadow of events that are so terrible they can never achieve the banality of “closure.” And it is precisely this unresolved quality, this sense that a survivor’s life has broken away from all recognized narrative patterns, that gives The Wall its uneasy power. Its protagonist, Arthur Landau, is given to saying that he does not exist, and the whole book is like a document of what it feels like to live without existing: “I realize I don’t belong to human society. . . . I am not part of any continuum that allows those who are self-evident—so they maintain, at least—to discover something in common or at least assume it.”

Read more on Tablet: http://tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/187500/h-g-adler-the-wall-kirsch