2002 : Imre Kertesz
“for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history”
November 9, 1929
Place of birth
Nobel Prize in Literature 2002
Born into a modest Jewish family (his father is a timber merchant and his mother used small), it is deported to Auschwitz in 1944 at age 15, then transferred to Buchenwald. This marks the painful experience deeply and nourished all his work. Revenue in Hungary in 1945, he finds himself alone, all members of his family have disappeared. In 1948 he started working as a journalist. But his newspaper in 1951 became the official organ of the Communist Party, and Kertesz is dismissed. It then works some time in a factory, then to the press service of the Ministry of Industry. Dismissed in 1953, he devoted himself once in writing and translation. From the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he wrote musicals for a living. He translated many German-language authors such as Nietzsche, Hofmannsthal, Schnitzler, Freud, Roth, Wittgenstein and Canetti, who have had an influence on his literary creation. In the 1960s, he began to write Fateless, the life story of a young Hungarian deported, inspired largely autobiographical. This novel has been published in 1975 and has received a first home rather modest. Only after its reissue in 1985, it has been successful. Kept out by the communist regime, Kertesz has begun to be recognized as a great writer in the late eighties. He received the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature, “for a work that stands the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history”.
Works in Hungarian:
Sorstalansag – Budapest, 1975
A nyomkereso: Ket regeny – Budapest, 1977
Detektivtortenet – Budapest : Magveto, 1977
A kudarc – Budapest, 1988
Kaddis a meg nem szuletett gyermekert – Budapest, 1990
Az angol lobogo – Budapest, 1991
Galyanaplo – Budapest, 1992
A holocaust mint kultura : harom eloadas – Budapest, 1993
Jegyzokonyv / Imre Kertesz ; Elet es Irodalom / Esterhazy Peter – Budapest, 1993
Valaki mas : a valtozas kronikaja – Budapest, 1997
A gondolatnyi csend, amig a kivegzoosztag ujratolt – Budapest, 1998
A szamuzott nyelv – Budapest, 2001
Felszamolas : regeny – Budapest : Magveto, cop. 2003
K. dosszie – Budapest : Magveto, 2006
Translations into English:
Fateless / translated by Christopher C. Wilson and Katharina M. Wilson – Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 1992 – Uniform title: Sorstalansag
Kaddish for a Child Not Born / translated by Christopher C. Wilson and Katharina M. Wilson – Evanston, Ill. : Hydra Books, 1997 – Uniform title: Kaddis a meg nem szuletett gyermekert
Liquidation / translated from the original Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson – New York : Knopf, cop. 2004 – Uniform Title: Felszamolas
Fatelessness : a Novel / translated from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson – New York : Vintage International, 2004 – Uniform title: Sorstalansag
Detective Story / translated from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson – New York : Knopf, 2008
Imre Kertesz and Holocaust Literature / edited : by Louise O. Vasvari and Steven Totosy de Zepetnek – Indiana: Purdue University Press West Lafayette, 2005
2002: Nobel Prize in Literature.
Excerpt from Fatelessness
The main thing is that we do not give up: there will always be in any way, for it has never been that it has not been in any way – as bandi Citrom taught me, and he in turn had acquired this wisdom in work camps. In any case first and most important was to wash (parallel rows of bowls in front of iron, with holes in, under the sky in that part of the camp facing the road). Equally important was the division of the diet – whether you got any or not – in an economical manner. Bread must be, how severely we had to get to grips with ourselves, enough for the next day’s coffee, yes, a bit and even for dinner break – while we relentlessly watching over our thoughts, and above all, who wandered from his pocket; it was so and just so we could avoid, for example, the embarrassing idea that we had nothing to eat. That the objects in our closet that I believed to be handkerchiefs were fotlappar; that the only safe place in the stage during the appeal or march was in the middle; that even when the soup was distributed would try to go a long way, but rather far back, so that came when they probably had been to the bottom of the pot and thus the thickest part of the soup; that it could hammer out stages one page to a tool that went to use the knife, all of this and many other necessary knowledge of prison life, I had learn of bandi Citrom and I saw that myself trying to apply them. ——————————-Only he seemed a little unsure. It was really only now – he said – as “gruesome authorities really began to light,” and he added that “the world so far is unresponsive to the question: how could all this happen at all?” I said nothing and then he turned completely against me and suddenly wondered: “Would not you, my boy, like to elaborate on your adventures?” I was a little surprised and replied that so much of interest, I would not be able to tell him. Then he smiled slightly and said: “Not for me: the world.” Whereupon I, even more surprised, interrogated me: “But tell me about what?” “If camps hell,” he replied, which I emphasized that it, I could not say anything because I did not know where the hell and could not even imagine it. But he said it was just a kind of parable: “Should we not,” he asked, “imagine the concentration camps as hell?” and I replied, while I drew a few circles in the dust with the squad, it was every one imagined at their own whims and fancies, but I for one could just imagine the concentration camps, for them, I felt a certain extent to, however, not hell. “But if you still would do it?” he insisted, and after a few circles I replied: “I would imagine it as a place where people can not be sad”, but – I added – in the concentration camps could be there, even in Auschwitz – under certain conditions, understood. Then he remained silent a little bit and then he asked, but almost a bit against his will, I thought: “And what you explain this?” and after a little reflection, I came on: “In time.” “Why in the meantime?” “By that time helps.” “Helps … with what?” “With everything” – and I tried to explain to him how much different it is to arrive at a perhaps not just sumptuous but broadly acceptable, clean and tidy station where everything becomes clearer to us only gradually, gradually, in due time. When we passed by a step and left it behind us will immediately next. When we have learned everything we have understood everything. And while gaining insight into everything it does not remain idle: it carries out its new tasks, live, shop, moves, meets every requirement for every new step. But if this time the result was and the whole realization hit us at once there on the spot, it is possible that neither our head or our heart would cope with it – so I tried to somewhat illustrate it for him, while he fished up a broken a box from his pocket and invited me also of the wrinkled cigarettes, but I refused, and after two deep glowing supported his elbows on knees and with the upper body leaning forward, but to look at me, he said with a somehow a little klanglos, muffled voice: ” I understand. ” “On the other hand,” I continued, “is the error, the disadvantage you might say, the time that we need to while away their time. I met, for example, prisoners’ – I told him -” that had been – or rather was still – In concentration camps in four, six or even twelve years. ” Now were these people had to somehow expel all these four, six or twelve years, that is, in the latter case, twelve times three hundred sixty-five days, then twelve times three hundred times sixty-five twenty-four times … and so on, every second, every minute , Hour, day: that is, throughout this time. But on the other hand – I was thinking on – perhaps it was precisely that which helped them also, for if all this twelve fold time taken sixty-five three hundred times, twenty-four times, sixty times and sixty times again had fallen over them suddenly, in one fell swoop, would they certainly do not have endured it – which they actually did – neither with the body or the brain. And because he remained silent, I added: “Something like, one has to imagine it.” Then he said, in the same position as before, settled instead for the cigarette he had thrown during the time he now faces in both hands and it was perhaps what made his voice even more subdued, even more smothered: “No, it can can not imagine “- and I realized, for my part, too. I thought, then that is why, apparently, that they would rather call it hell.
Presentation Speech by Torgny Lindgren of the Swedish Academy, December 10, 2002.
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The realities that are the subject of Imre Kertesz’s literary production and form its background cannot be understood or described by any of us who have not experienced them. The bestial, systematic evil of Nazism and the bureaucratic, misanthropic stupidity of the socialistic one-party state are hardly comprehensible to minds that have been shaped in civilized societies: nor do they allow themselves to be portrayed in other ways than as crazy paradoxes and absurdities.Imre Kertesz has written about this artistic problem in his Galley Diary and in his essay collection Eine Gedankenlange Stille.It has often been argued that Fateless is the hub and center of Kertesz’s literary production. That may be correct: this ostensibly simple, naked and mundanely unassuming account of a young boy’s life and sufferings in Auschwitz, Zeitz and Buchenwald possesses a weightiness and irrefutability that puts it not only at the core of one man’s literary production but also of contemporary European prose.”When you are going to read Kertesz, you have to begin with Fateless!” is a very common statement. However, it can be called into question.No matter which Kertesz novel or essay we pick up, we soon notice that it is intimately connected to one of the other works in his literary production. In a manner that is hard to explain, the separate parts appear to have grown together, with common root fibers or circulatory systems. Fiasco, that many-voiced, off-center account of a system-critical writer’s desperate hardships in a totalitarian, anti-educational state, is linked by allusions and thematic details with The English Flag, which in turn is intimately connected to the much later book of thoughts Galley Diary. From Kaddish for a Child Not Born, a mournful and simultaneously ironic requiem for a child who is never allowed to be born, because it would be cruel and criminal to bring it into the world, there are delicate but easily discernible threads that link it to Fateless and Fiasco.What finally reveals itself to the reader is a coherent organism, a body or symphonic work in the spirit of Mahler or Webern. Or in a word that borrows its solemn tone from the aging Thomas Mann: Ein WERK. An oeuvre, whose subject is an individual’s refusal to abandon his individual will by merging it with a collective identity.And behind each text, we clearly hear a voice or tone that Kertesz himself has formulated this way: In all respects my existence is horrible, except for writing: so I write and write to endure my existence, to justify it.Kertesz approaches tradition in a similar contrapuntal way. In his world, tradition is not a temporal phenomenal, but a spatial one. Tradition is his surroundings, the landscape where he resides and where on his rambles he encounters social companions and conversational companions like Camus, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, St. John of the Cross, Kafka or Paul Celan.Sehr verehrter Imre Kertesz!Uns, die wir Ihrer Dichtung begegnet sind und den Vorteil hatten uns in sie zu vertiefen, scheint sie notwendig und unentbehrlich um das “20. Jahrhundert, das wir noch unser eigenes nennen mussen, zu verstehen. Und das um so mehr, um auch das Schwanken zwischen Schicksal und Freiheit zu begreifen, welches das Los des preisgegebenen und wehrlosen Menschen wahrend dieses Jahrhunderts gewesen ist. Es war und ist eine Zeit, die scheinbar Ihre Hypothese bestatigt, dass der Affe vom Menschen abstammt und nicht umgekehrt. Hinter diesem Gedanken, der ein wenig misanthropisch vorkommen mag, hort man deutlich den milden und klugen Humor, der Ihr ganzes schriftstellerisches Werk durchstromt.Sie haben auch einmal geschrieben: Ich werde immer ein zweitrangiger, verkannter und missverstandener ungarischer Schriftsteller sein; die ungarische Sprache wird immer eine zweitrangige, verkannte und missverstandene Sprache sein.Gegen diese ironische Behauptung mochte die Schwedische Akademie am kraftigsten protestieren und Ihnen gleichzeitig herzlich gratulieren, wenn ich Sie jetzt auffordere, den Nobelpreis fur Literatur aus der Hand Seiner Majestat des Konigs entgegenzunehmen.
7 December 2002
Above all, I must make a confession, a confession may be strange but sincere. Since I boarded the plane to come here in Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize awarded to me this year, I feel my back in the scrutiny of an impassive observer, and in this solemn moment for me at the center of attention, I identify myself with this witness rather than imperturbable writer suddenly revealed to the world. And I hope only that the speech that I will vote for this opportunity will help me to end this duality, to bring these two people who live in me. For now, myself, I do not understand quite clearly that I feel aporia between this high distinction and my work, or rather my life. I may have lived too long in dictatorships, in a hostile environment and intellectual desperately abroad, to realize my potential literary value: the question simply did not bother to be asked. Moreover, it made me understand all sides that the “subject” who was my thoughts, which m’habite was outdated and uninteresting. That is why (,) I always considered writing as a strictly private affair, which also joined my most intimate convictions. Is like a private matter does not serious, although it seemed somewhat ridiculous in a world where only lies were taken seriously. But the philosophical axiom defined the world as a reality existing independently of us. But me, in 1955, on a beautiful spring day, I understood at once that there is only one reality and that reality, it was me, my life, and fragile gift an uncertain term that foreign powers were appropriate and unknown, were nationalized, determined and sealed, and I knew I had to take this monstrous Moloch is called history because it belonged to me and I had to dispose of as such. In any case, it radically opposed to everything around me, to this reality might not be objective, but certainly undeniable. I speak of communist Hungary, socialism, which promised a bright future. If the world is an objective reality that exists independently of us, then the individual is an object – including himself and the story of his life is a series of incoherent historic chance it can certainly contemplate, but who do not. It does nothing of the order into a coherent whole, because its subjective I can not take responsibility too elements which might be there. A year later, in 1956, broke the Hungarian revolution. For one brief moment, the country has become subjective. But Soviet tanks were soon restored objectivity. If you feel I do irony, then think, I ask you, that have become the language and words during the 20th century. I think it is likely that the most important, the most shocking discovery of the writers of our time is that language, as we have inherited from an ancient culture, is simply unable to represent the real processes, concepts once simple. Think of Kafka, think of Orwell who saw the ancient language melt in their hands, as if they had put to fire and then show the ashes where images appeared new and unknown. But let me return to my strictly personal matters, ie to writing. There are some questions that every man in my situation does not even arise. Jean-Paul Sartre, for example, has devoted an entire booklet to the question of who wrote it. The question is interesting, but it can also be dangerous and I’m certainly grateful to the life he never had to think about it. Let’s see what the danger. For example, if there is a social class that would not only entertain but also influence, we need to take into account its own style and wonder if it is adapted to the objective we had set. The writer was soon besieged by doubts: the problem is that it is therefore seen busy himself. Moreover, how could he know what the real expectations of his audience, what he really like? It may still not interrogate each individual. Moreover, it would serve no purpose. Ultimately, his only possible starting point is the idea that he himself its public demands that he himself attributes, the effect will have upon itself the influence it wants exercise. For the writer who then wrote it? The answer is obvious: for himself. I at least I can say that I come to this response without any detours. It is true that my case was more simple: I did not and does want to influence anyone. I had no purpose when I started writing what I wrote and directed not to anyone. If my writing had no clear objective, it was nevertheless retain a loyalty and formal language about me, nothing else. It was important to clarify this ridiculous but sad time when literature itself committed was led by the state. However it would have been more difficult to answer the question posed rightly and with some skepticism, why we write. Again, I was lucky because I never had the opportunity to decide this issue. I have faithfully recounted this event in my novel entitled The refusal. I was in the desert corridor of a building and I heard administrative steps resonate in a corridor perpendicular, that’s all. I have been a kind of restlessness particular, the steps came in my direction, were those of one person that I did not, and suddenly I had the impression of hearing walk hundreds of thousands, a column whose not sound and then I took the force of attraction of this parade of these steps. Here, in this corridor, I realized in one second drunkenness of abandonment of self, the pleasure of dizzying blend into the mass, what Nietzsche – in another context, but appropriately – called Dionysian ecstasy. A force almost physical to me and pushed me in the ranks, I felt that I had m’aplatir and me against the wall, not to succumb to this attraction. I realize this intense moment as I lived, the source from which it sprang had such a vision seemed to be outside of myself and not myself. Every artist knows such moments. Previously, they were called sudden inspiration. But I would not what I experienced in many artistic experiences. I speak rather an existential awareness, which did not control my art because I had to look long tools, but my life when I had almost lost . There was talk of loneliness, of a life more difficult, what I mentioned at the beginning: to leave the parade intoxicating, the story remains the man of her personality and her fate. I noted with dismay that ten years after returning Nazi camps and with virtually one foot in the fascination of Stalinist terror, it remains for me all this vague impression and a few anecdotes. As if it happened to someone else. Clearly these moments visionaries have a long history as Sigmund Freud deduced perhaps return of some trauma. Who knows, maybe he would reason. But I too look instead for rationality and am away from mysticism or enthusiasm when I talk about vision, a reality that I took the form of the supernatural – the sudden revelation, one might say revolutionary, d an idea which matured in me, something reflected the ancient exclamation “eureka! “. “I found it! “Of course, but what?
I said that to me, what is called socialism had the same meaning qu’eut for the Marcel Proust madeleine, which dipped in tea, had risen by flavors of time. After the defeat of the revolution of 1956, I decided, mainly for linguistic reasons, to remain in Hungary. So I saw, either as a child, but with my head adult functioning of a dictatorship. I saw how a people has to deny its ideals, I saw the beginnings of adaptation, gestures cautious, I realized that hope was an instrument of evil and that Kant’s categorical imperative , Ethics, that the valets were docile of subsistence. Can one imagine greater freedom than that enjoyed by a writer in a dictatorship relatively limited, so tired even decadent? In the sixties, the Hungarian dictatorship had arrived at a point of consolidation might be called social consensus and the Western world which would later, with condescension, the nickname of “goulash communism” after the beginning of animosity , The Hungarian communism became a coup communism favorite of the West. In the quagmire of this consensus, there were an alternative: either abandon the fight, or seek tortuous paths of inner freedom. A writer has no major needs, a pencil and paper sufficient for the exercise of his art. The disgust and depression with which I woke up every morning m’introduisaient quickly in the world that I wanted to describe. I realized that I was describing a man crushed by the logic of totalitarianism in myself living in another totalitarianism, and this has undoubtedly made the language of my novel means of communication suggestive. If in all sincerity I assess my situation at that time, I do not know if in the West, in a free society, I would have been able to write the same novel as that is known today as the title of Fateless, which won the highest honor of the Swedish Academy. No, because I certainly had other concerns. I would certainly not given to seek the truth, but it would have been perhaps another truth. In the free market books and minds, I would have maybe tried to find a more brilliant fiction: I could, for example, fragmenting the narrative just to tell that the striking moments. Except that in the concentration camps, my hero does not live his own time, being deprived of his time, his tongue, his personality. He has no memory, it is in now. So that the poor must languish in dreary trap of linearity and can not release details arduous. Instead of a spectacular succession of tragic moments, he must live it, which is cumbersome and offers little variety, like life. But it allowed me to learn from amazing. The linearity requires that each situation fully fulfilled. She prohibited, for example, jumping elegantly twenty minutes for the only reason that these twenty minutes beaient before me like a black abyss, unknown and frightening as a mass grave. I am talking about twenty minutes had elapsed on the dock of the extermination camp of Birkenau before the people down cars are not found before the officer who made the selection. Myself, I remember approximately twenty minutes, but the novel m’interdisait am proud of my reminiscences. Almost all testimonials, confessions and memories of survivors that I read were in agreement that everything was going very fast and much confusion: the doors of the cars opened violently in the middle screaming and of barking, men were separated from women, in a demented rush they found themselves before an officer who threw them a quick glance showed something by reaching the arm, then they found themselves in holding prisoner. Myself, I remember another twenty minutes. Looking for authentic sources, I started by reading Tadeusz Borowski’s stories clear, a masochistic cruelty, including one entitled “Gas, messieurs-dames! “Then I was in the hands a series of photos that SS had taken on the jetty at Birkenau at the arrival of convoys and that U.S. soldiers found at Dachau, the former SS barracks. I was amazed at these pictures: smiling faces of beautiful women, young men under intelligent, full of goodwill, ready to cooperate. So I understand how and why these twenty minutes of humiliating failure and helplessness had faded in memory. And when thinking that this was repeated day after day, week after week, month after month over many years, I was able to glimpse the art of horror, I realized how we could return the nature human against human life. And I went step by step on the road linear discoveries; it was, if you will, my heuristic method. I soon realized that the questions of who and what I wrote does not interest me. One question I worked: I still had in common with literature? For it was clear to me that a boundary line separating of literature and its ideals, its spirit, and this line – like so many other things – called Auschwitz. When writing about Auschwitz, we must know that, at least in a sense, Auschwitz has outstanding literature. About Auschwitz, one can not write a thriller or, with respect, a novel-drama which begins at Auschwitz and lasts until today. What I mean is that nothing has happened since Auschwitz which has canceled Auschwitz, which has refuted Auschwitz. In my writings the Holocaust could never reveal the past. It is said about me – for me to congratulate or criticize me – that I am the writer of a single theme, the Holocaust. I do nothing to repeat, why not I n’accepterais, with some reservations, the place that I was assigned to the appropriate library shelf? Indeed, what writer today is not a writer of the Holocaust? I mean there is no need to explicitly choose the Holocaust as subject to notice the dissonance that has prevailed for decades in contemporary art in Europe. In addition, there has, to my knowledge, no valid or genuine art where you do not feel that the fracture faces watching the world after a night of nightmares, broken and confused. I never had the temptation to consider issues relating to the Holocaust as an intractable conflict between Germans and Jews, I never thought it was one of the chapters of Jewish martyrdom logical successor to Previous tests, I’ve never seen a sudden derailment of history, a pogrom on a larger scale than the others or the conditions of the founding of a Jewish state. In the Holocaust, I discovered the human condition, the terminus of a great adventure when Europeans arrived after two thousand years of culture and morality. Now we must consider how to go further. The problem of Auschwitz is not whether to draw a line over or not, if we keep the memory or rather throw in the appropriate drawer of history, whether to erect monuments to Millions of victims and what should be the monument. The real problem is that Auschwitz took place, and with the best or most wicked will in the world, we can not change. Speaking of “scandal”, the Hungarian Catholic poet Janos Pilinszky has probably found the best description of this painful situation, and hence he wanted to clearly say that Auschwitz was held in the Christian culture and is as well minds for a metaphysical an open wound. Ancient prophecies say that God is dead. There is no doubt that after Auschwitz, we are still left to ourselves. We had to create our values, day after day by a relentless work ethic but invisible eventually produce the values that may give rise to the new European culture. That the Swedish Academy has seen fit to distinguish precisely my work proves to me that Europe feels again the need for survivors of Auschwitz and the Holocaust to recall the experience they have been obliged ‘ acquire. To me, allow me to say is a sign of courage, even a certain determination because we wanted to see me come here in doubting what I say. But what was revealed through the final solution and the universe concentration camps “can not lead to confusion, and the only way to survive, to retain creative forces is to discover the zero point. Why this lucidity not be fertile? At the bottom of discoveries, even if they are based on extreme tragedies, is always the most admirable European value, the rustle of freedom that gives our life a certain added value, a certain richness we awareness the reality of our existence and our responsibility towards it. It gives me special joy to express these thoughts in Hungarian, my mother tongue. I was born in Budapest in a Jewish family, my mother was from Kolozsvar in Transylvania, my father, south-west of Balaton. My grandparents still lit candles on Friday evening to welcome the Sabbath, but they had already changed their name to give it a Hungarian consonance and it was natural for them to Judaism as a religion and consider Hungary as their homeland . My maternal grandparents were killed during the Holocaust, my paternal grandparents were destroyed by the communist authorities of Rakos, after the retirement home of the Jews was moved from Budapest to the northern border. It seems to me that this brief family history summarizes and symbolizes both the recent suffering of this country. All this I learn that grief does not mean that conceals the bitterness, but also of extraordinary legal reserves. Being Jewish, I think today is again primarily a moral duty. If the Holocaust has created a culture – which is undoubtedly the case – but the latter may be the only reality irreparable spiritual children repair, ie catharsis. This desire has inspired everything I’ve ever done. Although my speech is coming to an end, I sincerely that I still have not found a balance between soothing my life, my work and the Nobel Prize. For now, I do sense a deep appreciation – for the love that saved me and keeps me alive. But recognize that in the course barely visible, the “career”, if I may say so, which is mine, there is something disturbing, absurd, something that can hardly think without being tempted to believe in a supernatural order, a welfare, justice metaphysics, ie without ourselves and thus engage in an impasse, destroy and lose contact with deep and painful the millions of beings who died and never known mercy. It is not easy to be an exception, and if the situation has made us exceptions, it must resign itself to the absurd coincidence that the same vagaries of a firing squad, reigns over our lives subjected to inhuman powers and terrible dictatorships. Yet, while I was preparing this speech, it happened to me something very strange in a sense, I made my serenity. One day I received by mail a large envelope kraft paper. She sent me by the director of the Buchenwald memorial, Mr. Volkhard Knigge. He joined his cordial congratulations another envelope, smaller, which specified the contents, in case I would not have the strength to face it. On the inside, there was a copy of the register held daily from 18 February 1945. In the column “Abgange” ie “losses” I learned the death of inmate number sixty-four thousand nine hundred and twenty-one, Imre Kertesz, born in 1927, Jewish worker. The two false data, to know my date of birth and my profession, explained by the fact that when registered by the administration of the Buchenwald concentration camp, I had aged two years to not be among children and had claimed to be workers rather than high school student to appear more useful. I am therefore once death to continue to live – and perhaps my real story. Since this is so, I dedicate my work arose from the death of this child to millions of deaths and all those who still remember the deaths. But as ultimately it is literature, a literature that is also, according to the arguments of your Academy, an act of testimony, perhaps going to be useful in the future, and if I listening to my heart, I would say even more: it will serve the future. Because I feel that thinking about the traumatic effect of Auschwitz, I touch the core issues of vitality and creativity of the human mind and to Auschwitz, in perhaps paradoxically, I think in the future rather than past.