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William T. Vollmann on the 'Slimy, Filthy Grief' of the Holocaust and the Ethics of Photography

Book Forum Cover Jan 09I am forever in awe of William T. Vollmann's ability to drill to the dark centers of humanity and emerge clear-thinking despite the "slimy, filthy grief" he experiences there. He's done it again in the latest issue of Book Forum, where he manages to articulate the most fundamental horror of the holocaust while writing his way through a sharp essay on the ethics of photography. I could feed you an excerpt here but I'm going to resist the temptation. You ought to read and wrestle with the entire piece. Snack if you must, but don't say I encouraged you in that wrongheaded endeavor.