The 'Jewish Question' in German Literature, 1749-1939: Emancipation and Its Discontents

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The 'Jewish Question' in German Literature, 1749-1939 is an erudite and searching literary study of the uneasy position of the Jews in Germany and Austria from the first pleas for Jewish emancipation during the Enlightenment to the eve of the Holocaust. Trying to avoid hindsight, and drawing on a wide range of literary texts, Ritchie Robertson offers a close examination of attempts to construct a Jewish identity suitable for an increasingly secular world. He examines both literary portrayals of Jews by Gentile writers - whether antisemitic, friendly, or ambivalent - and efforts to reinvent Jewish identities by the Jews themselves, in response to antisemitism culminating in Zionism. Robertson's new work will prove stimulating for anyone interested in the modern Jewish experience, as well as for scholars and students of German fiction, prose, and political culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The reader will appreciate Robertson's fresh insights and his ability to synthesize and elucidate a vast body of primary and secondary sources."--Choice

"[This book] can be mined for its extensive translations and summaries and engaged with as a masterful synthesis and interpretation of the major themes and dilemmas of modern Jewish and European history."--Religious Studies Review

"[A] stimulating, wide-ranging, well-written, and thoroughly researched investigation.... This is a book intended not only to inform its reader, but also to challenge comfortable assumptions. On both levels, it succeeds brilliantly.... Without a doubt, The "Jewish Question" in German Literature, 1749-1939 deserves to become a standard work for historians, literary scholars, and the interested general public."--The Bulletin of the Center for Holocaust Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198186311
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Pages: 544
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Enlightenment 9
German Jewry before Emancipation 9
How the Enlightenment saw the Jews 22
Lessing and Toleration 32
Emancipation: Dohm versus Humboldt 45
Moses Mendelssohn and the Rational Jew 54
Mendelssohn's Legacy 65
2 Liberalism 77
Jews and Liberalism in the Nineteenth Century 77
Schnitzler: Liberalism and Irony 93
The European Humanism of Stefan Zweig 112
Freud: Science versus Religion 129
3 Antisemitism 151
Varieties of Antisemitism 151
Literary Images of the Jew 202
4 Assimilation 233
The Meaning of Assimilation 233
Self-Hatred 285
Hyperacculturation 345
5 Dissimilation 379
The Jewish Renaissance 379
The Eastern Jews 399
The Jew as Oriental 428
Zionism 465
Select Bibliography 505
Index 521
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