Suffering Witness: The Quandary of Responsibility after the Irreparable
                                                                               (SUNY Press, 2000)

        Drawing on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, Suffering Witness uses the prose of
        Primo Levi and Taduesz  Borowski, as well as the poetry of Paul Celan, to question why
        witnessing the Shoah is so pressing a responsibility for anyone living in its aftermath.  The
        book argues that the witnessing of irreparable loss leaves one in unresolvable quandary but
        that the attentiveness of that witness resists the destructive legacy of annihilation.

SANDOR GOODHART, Chair of the Jewish Studies Program, Purdue University, Author of Sacrificing Commentary:

     "James Hatley has written an extraordinary treatise: a book-length meditation on suffering, witness, and responsibility. Drawing primarily upon the writings of Primo Levi, Emmanuel Levinas, Tadeusz Borowski, and Paul Celan as "exemplary testimonies," Hatley offers those of us working in post-Holocaust literary, philosophic, and religious studies a singularly brilliant thesis: that the suffering of the other individual is incomparable to my own and irremediable, and that the infinite responsibility and ineluctable witness to which I am obligated requires my ownership of this incapacity and this burden not as the defeat of my response but ironically as its enabling condition. As we reflect upon a century of violence and extremity, I predict that Hatley's meditation will set the stage for all serious future discussion of these matters."

ALAN UDOFF, Philosophy/Religious Studies, St. Francis College, Author of  Kafka's Contextuality:

     "James Hatley's Suffering Witness calls into question, in a way that is genuinely significant, philosophy's adequacy to respond to what is transcendent and irreparable in being a witness to the Holocaust. Writing under a self-confessed 'burden,' the burden that weighs upon thought itself, Hatley has produced a searching, phenomenological investigation worthy of attentive study."

MICHAEL B. SMITH, Berry College, Philosophy, Translator of Alterity and Transcendence:

     "In this new and sensitive synthesis of scrupulous thinking about the Holocaust (beginning with scruples about the term Holocaust itself), Dr. Hatley approaches all the major questions surrounding our overwhelming inadequacy in "the aftermath of the irreparable." His meticulous analyses are carried out on the texts, or in the vicinity, of such key figures as poet Paul Celan, philosophers Emmanuel Levinas and Berel Lang, and survivors Primo Levi and Tadeusz Borowski, to mention but a few. If there is anything unique (in a non-trivial sense) about the Holocaust, surely it is the imperious moral urgency that compels those who contemplate it to revise their view of what it means to be human, and to bear witness to such an event. What is our relation to the Häftling, the prisoner of the concentration or death camp? Hatley follows Levinas in distinguishing between guilt and responsibility, the latter being not a contract freely entered into, but a dimension of being human, a precondition for even becoming guilty.
     "But it is not enough, as Hatley points out, to bear witness to an "event." Beyond that abstraction there is each and every suffering life, irreparable loss--requiring, but then escaping, the diligent form of devotion called history.
     "Dr. Hatley's accomplishment, the fruit of his many years of research and instruction on the Holocaust, will prove a valuable aid to all who would, in whatever capacity, begin or carry on with the task of witness and response."

CLAIRE E. KATZ, Penn State University, Philosophy/Jewish Studies:

     "An elegant reading of Levi, Celan, Levinas, and Borowski, one which demonstrates the power of literature within a philosophical framework, and which usese this relationship in order to remind us not just of our ethical response to the Shaoh, but of our ethical response to the narratives themselves."