Introduction: Haunting in the Land of the Untraumatized
The introduction interpretively explores the »spectral turn« unfolding in the Polish post-Holocaust imaginaire: it examines the emergence and proliferation of the figure of the Jewish ghost across the realms of cultural production, art, popular imaginings, and academic culture, and provides a frame for the contributions collected in the volume. Establishing the aesthetic and affective politics of the ghostly as a subject of multiperspective and multidisciplinary inquiry, it asks about the position of Jewish ghosts in shifting cultural attitudes towards the Holocaust and the »Polish-Jewish past« and present. Attentive to a particular type of ghost, the Jewish ghost in post-Holocaust Poland, it argues that ghosts are dense social and political figures. Moreover, this introduction is organized so as to reflect shifting trajectories in the production of, and interpretive involvement with, Jewish ghosts in Poland: from engagements with the representational, aesthetic, and affective politics of ghosts to their particular political positioning; from readings locating ghosts in the broader horizon of Holocaust art, literature, and theory to theorizations developed from within the empirical and material reality of haunting. This organization works along a specific analytical directionality – towards an understanding of ghosts that disentangles them from questions of memory and trauma and entangles them directly with questions of order, power, and hegemony.