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Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish Identity$
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Jonathan M. Hess

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761222

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761222.001.0001

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Introduction When Rabbis Became Novelists:

Introduction When Rabbis Became Novelists:

The Emergence of Jewish Literature in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction When Rabbis Became Novelists:
Source:
Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish Identity
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804761222.003.0001

This introductory chapter discusses the emergence of “Jewish literature” in the nineteenth century. In this period when Jews were rapidly ascending into the ranks of the middle classes, undertaking projects of religious modernization, and engaging with the secular world in ways their medieval ancestors could not have fathomed, they also launched their own form of secular culture: fiction written by Jews for Jews that sought to navigate between tradition and modernity, between Jewish history and the German present, and between the fading walls of the ghetto and the promise of a new cultural identity as members of a German bourgeoisie. It is this literature that is the subject of this book. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Jewish literature, German Jews, German-Jewish culture

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