Beauty, injustice, and victory in Absentia: Tadeusz Borowski's Auschwitz stories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reexamines the ethical dilemmas inherent to the aesthetics of Holocaust literature. Through close analysis of several of the Auschwitz stories of the Polish author Tadeusz Borowski, I show that the key to understanding the literature of witness lies in grasping the complicated way such fiction juxtaposes notions of beauty and routine. In its dramatization of the way forms of beauty resist the horrors of the concentration camp context, Borowski's stories rewrite dominant conceptions of beauty by, paradoxically, relying on age-old conceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Beauty
  • Borowski
  • Ethical criticism
  • Holocaust
  • Witness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Beauty, injustice, and victory in Absentia: Tadeusz Borowski's Auschwitz stories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this