chapter  6
Ethics, Aesthetics, and History in Lawrence Durrell’s Avignon Quintet
ByLawrence Durrell’s Avignon Quintet DIANNE VIPOND
Pages 16

Anne Michaels's first novel, Fugitive Pieces is the work of a poet and, as such, is written in a terse and highly troped and melodious style that, like Paul Celan's Death Fugue, raises the doubt first expressed by Theodor Adorno in 'Kulturkritik und Gesellschaft' about the ethicality of writing poetry 'after Auschwitz'. Marianne Hirsch underlines the importance of the imagination in the construction of what she terms 'postmemory', that is, the recollection of the Holocaust through an imaginative investment and creation by those who have arrived too late to experience it for themselves. The generic and modal complexity of Holocaust narratives postulated by Leigh Gilmore and Michael Rothberg are already suggested by the irony cast on the novel's title by its wealth of intertextual connotations. Donna Coffey's interpretation of the novel as an attempt to counteract the German myth of blood and soil is well argued and casts significant light on Fugitive Pieces.