Orientalist Strategies of Dissociation in a German "Jewish" Novel: Das neue Jerusalem (1905) and its Context

Stähler, Axel (2009) Orientalist Strategies of Dissociation in a German "Jewish" Novel: Das neue Jerusalem (1905) and its Context. Forum for Modern Language Studies , 45 (1). pp. 51-89. ISSN 0015-8518. (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fmls/cqn060

Abstract

This article traces notions of Jewish Orientalism current in German-speaking countries around the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century. Expounding the cultural context of its production, it focuses in particular on an anonymously published novel which provoked a short but heated debate among German-Jewish critics. Purporting to be the work of a Jewish author, but in fact written by a non-Jewish anti-Semite, Das neue Jerusalem appears to be situated quite deliberately at the interface between anti-Semitic and Zionist discourses and to be the vehicle of subversive strategies of dissociation: it presumes not only to speak to its Jewish readers but, from an (allegedly) inside perspective, to speak for them. Thus, in effect, it attempts to insinuate Orientalist stereotypes to its Jewish readers with the aim of relegating them quite literally to "their" place in the Orient (Palestine). But it is obviously also intended to intervene in the contemporary debate about the "authenticity" of Jewish cultural production and ventures to set prescriptive standards to proper Jewishness, especially in the field of literary production. For its gentile reader, the supposedly Jewish provenance of the novel confirms Jewish otherness, lends credibility to its allegations, and seemingly takes the edge off its anti-Semitism: Jewish dissociation appears to be justified and, indeed, mutually desirable.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Axel Stahler
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2009 11:57
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2012 14:27
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/14703 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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