BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GENERAL. Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
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First read this when my older daughter was in the 10th grade and she was required by the state to read it. The state reading list for 15 year olds is 95% nihilistic. I believe it to be a crime that what we teach 15 year olds is that they are nothing and that their lives have no value at all. I was angry when I read Night. I believed that since the students were studying the Holocaust for the umpteenth time that the least they could do would be to balance this book with a book by Corrie ten Boom and a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. But no, the state won't even consider doing something sensible like that.
So here we are more than 10 years later. This time I am reading the book, having been suggested to me for devotional purposes! While nothing I encounter in life is as vile as what Wiesel or the any of the Jews endured during the Holocaust, I do encounter adversity and hardship on a much lighter scale. In that sense I can relate in a minor way to Wiesel and to his reactions, including his spiritual reactions. Yet in the end Wiesel is dehumanized, hopeless and faithless. The bit of Beethoven played by his dying Polish friend is meaningless. Even the liberation is meaningless. I find Wiesel's celebrity incomprehensible.
The difference between this reading of the book and last time's is that this time I plan to read an additional volume. Perhaps a sequel will help me to understand what happened beyond the liberation. For is it not true of all of us that life goes on, except for those who face the second death?
i have only read a few chapters but what i can tell is that eliezer has been through many things. It's quite hard to believe that someone has gone through this.