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John Boyne’s Representation of the Shoah in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: A Paradigm of Transgression and Linguistic Uncertainties

Marco Canani    Università degli Studi «Gabriele d’Annunzio» Chieti-Pescara, Italia    

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abstract

This article argues that transgression provides an illuminating critical category to examine the narrative construction of John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2006). Boyne’s decision to entrust his testimonial narrative to Bruno, the son of an SS commander, produces a representational uncertainty that is reminiscent of Theodor Adorno’s claims on post-Auschwitz aesthetics. Bruno’s fictional testimony is marked by a difficulty in conceptualising experience via language, which reveals voids in his cognizance of reality. This epistemic modality, however, is transgressed by the interaction of words and images in the film version of the novel.

Pubblicato
16 Marzo 2022
Accettato
16 Novembre 2021
Presentato
21 Settembre 2021
Lingua
EN
Copyright: © 2021 Marco Canani. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.