Jean Améry (31 October 1912 in Vienna – 17 October 1978), born Hanns Chaim Mayer, was an Austrian-born essayist. He was a survivor and memoirist of the Holocaust, whose most widely-read work is At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities (1966), often called At the Mind's Limits.
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At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities (1966)Edit
- If one speaks about torture, one must take care not to exaggerate.
- It would be totally senseless to try to describe here the pain that was inflicted on me. Was it 'like a red-hot iron in my shoulders,' and was another 'like a dull wooden stake that had been driven into the back of my head'? One comparison would only stand for the other, and in the end we would be hoaxed by turn on the hopeless merry-go-round of figurative speech. The pain was what it was. Beyond that there is nothing to say. Qualities of feeling are as incomparable as they are indescribable. They mark the limit of the capacity of language to communicate. If someone wanted to impart his physical pain, he would have to inflict it and thereby become a torturer himself.