Absurd Reality

Dossier K

Imre Kertész
Translated by Tim Wilkinson
Melville House, $18.95, 218 pp.

Imre Kertész is a concentration-camp survivor who keeps a distance from the slogans that remind us “never again.” He resists the impulse to create meaning out of an “absurdity,” criticizing even the word that has come to sum up this history: Holocaust.

Kertész’s novels, short stories, and essays spell out these views. But who has read him? We have barely heard of him, and for many...

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.