The Jeremiad: Readings of African-American and Jewish testimonial literature Open Access

Issenberg, Zachary Nicholas (2017)

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This thesis aims to discover similar announcements of a biblical testimonial tradition in the African-American and Jewish literary contexts. The thesis consists of four sections; a chapter discussing the poetic tradition initiated by the Book of Jeremiah; the similarities between slave and pogrom narratives; the archival projects of authors Stefan Zweig and Toni Morrison; a novella as coda written by me. Through readings of each tradition's poetics followed by my personal response to testimonial literature, I intend to make more visible the eternal significance of community, memory, and trauma in each person's testimony. This thesis does not intend to equate the experiences of African-American, Jewish, or any oppressed peoples, but to highlight the necessity of testimony as a means of overcoming oppositional barriers on culture, language, and identity.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 1

2. The Cycle of Prophecy and Catastrophe 3

3. Birth into Tragedy 10

4. The Obsessive Postmodernists 24

5. Ringworld 39

6. Bibliography 77

About this Honors Thesis

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