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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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Leopold Kompert and the Pleasures of Nostalgia:

Leopold Kompert and the Pleasures of Nostalgia:

Ghetto Fiction and the Creation of a Usable Past

(p.72) Two Leopold Kompert and the Pleasures of Nostalgia:
Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish Identity
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how it was that ghetto fiction came to gain such a central position in German-Jewish cultural life in the nineteenth century. The work of Leopold Kompert (1822–1886) provides a useful window into the genre as a whole both because of his pioneering role in establishing the ghetto tale as a reputable form of belles lettres and because his fiction left a particularly rich paper trail in the nineteenth-century press. In this sense, studying Kompert provides ample material which can be used to determine what it means that nostalgic tales about the ghetto became the dominant form of German-Jewish literature during this period.

Keywords:   Jewish literature, German Jews, ghetto tales, cultural life

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