The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siècle Europe

The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siècle Europe

by Paul Reitter
     
 

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In turn-of-the-century Vienna, Karl Kraus created a bold new style of media criticism, penning incisive satires that elicited both admiration and outrage. Kraus’s spectacularly hostile critiques often focused on his fellow Jewish journalists, which brought him a reputation as the quintessential self-hating Jew. The Anti-Journalist overturns this view withSee more details below

Overview

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, Karl Kraus created a bold new style of media criticism, penning incisive satires that elicited both admiration and outrage. Kraus’s spectacularly hostile critiques often focused on his fellow Jewish journalists, which brought him a reputation as the quintessential self-hating Jew. The Anti-Journalist overturns this view with unprecedented force and sophistication, showing how Kraus’s criticisms form the center of a radical model of German-Jewish self-fashioning, and how that model developed in concert with Kraus’s modernist journalistic style.
Paul Reitter’s study of Kraus’s writings situates them in the context of fin-de-siècle German-Jewish intellectual society. He argues that rather than stemming from anti-Semitism, Kraus’s attacks constituted an innovative critique of mainstream German-Jewish strategies for assimilation. Marshalling three of the most daring German-Jewish authors—Kafka, Scholem, and Benjamin—Reitter explains their admiration for Kraus’s project and demonstrates his influence on their own notions of cultural authenticity.   The Anti-Journalist is at once a new interpretation of a fascinating modernist oeuvre and a heady exploration of an important stage in the history of German-Jewish thinking about identity.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
"For understanding Kraus as a Jewish writer, no book is better than this one."-Choice

Times Literary Supplement
"[The Anti-Journalist] displays a remarkably alert understanding of the duplicitous integrity of its subject in his one-man war against media cant."--Frederic Raphael, Times Literary Supplement

— Frederic Raphael

New York Review of Books
"Intelligent and clarifying. . . . In his most speculative and intriguing chapter, Reitter traces the affinities between Kraus''s style of criticism-by-quotation and Benjamin''s own metaphysics of quotation."--Adam Kirsch, New York Review of Books

— Adam Kirsch

H-Net
"An innovative account of fin-de-siecle Europe, modern Jewish identities, antisemitism, and cultural critique."

— Leena Petersen

Austrian History Yearbook
"An important study that significantly advances critical examinations of Kraus, Jews, journalism, and culture in turn-of-the-century Vienna. By placing Kraus''s anti-Semitic discourse at center stage, the book represents an important step forward in plotting Jewishness and anti-Semitism onto the broader map of Central European society and culture."

— Lisa Silverman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226709727
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/15/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
0 MB

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