Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's Left To Say About Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, who died on Saturday, wrote fifty-seven books, yet the obituaries and tributes refer to him more consistently as a witness than a writer. His moral authority, which he earned and sought, derived from his experience, not any literary virtuosity, though the spare, confessional prose of his most widely read books—his ability to remember suffered details, and describe their shock on a thinking, pious youth—gave his testimony popular momentum. “Night”—his early masterpiece from the fifties, which eventually sold in the millions—famously recounted how a child was hanged before all in Wiesel’s death camp, slowly suffocating, too light to break his own neck: “Behind me, I heard [a] man asking: ‘Where is God now?’ And I heard a voice within me answer him: ‘. . . Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows.’ “

Read on at The New Yorker