Sunday, July 03, 2016

Huffington Post made Elie Wiesel into a "philosopher" and "scholar"

Look.  Wiesel was a victim and surviver of the Holocaust and that is a fact but it is also a fact that he used his victimhood to perpetuate the victimhood of millions of people in the world.  Worst, simply because he dishonestly and unethically appointed himself as a spokesperson of the dead victims and survivors of the Holocaust, he never received any critical or objective assessment as a writer.  I invite anyone who was influenced by the popular acclaim that was bestowed on him, to actually read his writings.  Unless you count hallmark cards' writings a literature, there is no literary value to anything that this man wrote.  Look at the wise sentences attributed to him: they have as much wisdom and originality as much as speeches by Trump (and oh, he loved to associate with wealthy people).  Politically, he never met an Israeli massacre or war which he didn't fully support and endorse.  He never spoke against any action by the Israeli terrorist army.  And the eulogies never mentioned that he (and Amos Oz) were among the first Zionists to compare the Palestinian National Movement to the Nazi movement.  And his most famous book, Night, has been fraught with so many discrepancies and questions about the variations between the different versions and editions of the book.  Facts were never that important for Wiesel.  The account of his winning totally undeservedly the Nobel Peace Prize is yet to be written: it is known that he campaigned for years to obtain this prize to obtain legitimacy for his Zionist endeavors.  He was made a professor at Boston University, when he rarely showed to class and barely met with students and rarely educated.  Did anyone bother to talk to any of his former students there?   One scholar who actually studied the various versions of Night wrote: "But there is a problem. As E.J. Kessler reported in these pages, even “Night” has raised red flags. In 1996, Naomi Seidman, a Jewish Studies professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., compared the original 1956 Yiddish version of the book, then titled “Un di velt hot geshvign” (“And the World Kept Silent”), with the later 158-page French version (“La Nuit”), which is the text that was translated and constitutes the Oprah-book as we now know it. According to Seidman’s account, published in the scholarly journal Jewish Social Studies, Wiesel substantially rewrote the work between editions — suggesting that the strident and vengeful tone of the Yiddish original was converted into a continental, angst-ridden existentialism more fitting to Wiesel’s emerging role as an ambassador of culture and conscience. Most important, Seidman wrote that Wiesel altered several facts in the later edition, in some cases offering accounts of pivotal moments that conflicted with the earlier version. (For example, in the French, the young Wiesel, having been liberated from Buchenwald, is recuperating in a hospital; he looks into a mirror and writes that he saw a corpse staring back at him. In the earlier Yiddish, Wiesel holds that upon seeing his reflection he smashed the mirror and then passed out, after which “my health began to improve.”)"