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At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a…
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At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and its…

by Jean Améry

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» See also 5 mentions

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Fantastic but tragic. Amery is a true philosopher--fortunately he lived long enough at least to write this analysis. Actually wish there was more of the "I" that Amery attempts to suppress and the personal experiences, in order to see more cause with the effect. Great. ( )
1 vote ShaneTierney | Jun 24, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Améryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Magris, ClaudioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Take care, a well-meaning friend advised me when he heard of my plan to speak on the intellectual in Auschwitz.
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Originally published in German: Jenseits von Schuld und Suhne.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0253211735, Paperback)

Because Auschwitz was among the most brutal of the concentration camps, ruled by capricious, pure force and not by any discernable political or social structure, the intellectual there "was alone with his intellect ... and there was no social reality that could support and confirm it." In other words, there was no place for the intellect to act, outside of the confines of a person's own skull. Jean Amery's At The Mind's Limits is a focused meditation on the position of the intellectual placed in "a borderline situation, where he has to confirm the reality and effectiveness of his intellect, or to declare its impotence: in Auschwitz." In the camp, Amery writes, "The intellect very abruptly lost its basic quality: its transcendence." Considering this loss, Amery describes his own experience of torture, his reactions of resentment, anger, and bitterness, his loss of any vital sense of metaphysical questions, and his search for some way to maintain moral character and Jewish identity in the absence of such consciousness. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

At the Mind's Limits is the story of one man's incredible struggle to understand the reality of horror. In five autobiographical essays, Amery describes his survival-mental, moral, and physical-through the enormity of the Holocaust. Above all, this masterful record of introspection tells of a young Viennese intellectual's fervent vision of human nature and the betrayal of that vision.… (more)

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