Empathy in Contemporary Poetry after Crisis, (PDF) examines the representation of empathy in contemporary poetry after the crisis, particularly poetry after the Holocaust, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and Hurricane Katrina. The ebook argues that, identifying both the possibilities and dangers of empathy, the poems under consideration variously invite and refuse empathy, thus showing what Anna Veprinska terms empathetic dissonance. Veprinska offers that empathetic dissonance reflects the texts’ struggle with the question of the value and possibility of empathy in the face of the crises to which these texts respond. Studying poems from Charlotte Delbo, Dionne Brand, Charles Reznikoff, Niyi Osundare, Robert Fitterman, Wisława Szymborska, Claudia Rankine, Paul Celan, Cynthia Hogue, Dan Pagis, Lucille Clifton, and Katie Ford, among others, Veprinska studies empathetic dissonance through language, witnessing, and theology. Combining comparative close readings with interdisciplinary theory from philosophy, psychology, history and literary theory, cultural theory, and trauma studies, this ebook juxtaposes a genocide, a terrorist act, and a natural disaster intensified by racial politics and human disregard in order to consider what happens to empathy in poetry after events at the limits of empathy.
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