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Rosenman, A.D. (2020). Le témoin et son autre. Rev. fr. psychanal., 84(2):303-313.

(2020). Revue française de psychanalyse, 84(2):303-313

Le témoin et son autre

(The Witness and his other)

Anny Dayan Rosenman

A testimony always involves two people. And few texts require with the same urgency the listening and the physical or symbolic presence of the other, the contemporary other, whether listener or reader, who is also the representative of the human other who was absent at the time of the ordeal. Hence the necessity of renewing the link, which Primo Levi translates by the interpellation, the address and the dialogue with his reader, while Claude Lanzmann, in Shoah, embodies an instance of active and mediating listening that serves as a support for what the witness says and sometimes permits him to come into being. In the context of mass death and non-separation, the survivor seems to take engulfment into himself or pursue a dialogue with his dead. In certain testimonies, between symptoms and literary themes, the phenomena of incorporation, specular reflections and the presence of doubles seem to be the translation in writing of an impossible mourning. And yet it is also sometimes in and through writing that the witness/survivor is able to separate himself from his dead.

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