Torture and Homelessness: The Horrible Can Make No Claim to Singularity

  • Vivaldi Jean-Marie


This chapter elaborates Améry’s account of torture and forgiveness to show that the inherent tactile memory of the tortured body makes granting forgiveness challenging for Améry, despite his rational acknowledgment of its necessity. It elaborates the prowess of the body, which relies on the mechanisms of memory to bring the rational faculties to their limits. It provides an account of Améry’s belief that torture was the essence of the Third Reich and his critique of the view of evil as banal. The stance on evil provides his musings on this philosophical motif of the Frankfurt School, which is his contribution to the Frankfurt School intelligentsia’s attempt to configure a coherent genealogy of the rise of evil. The chapter concludes that Améry’s inability to reconcile his memories with Belgian socio-cultural practices, specifically the prevailing vernacular, confines him to an inner country.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivaldi Jean-Marie
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations