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Inventing the IsraeliteJewish Fiction in Nineteenth-Century France$
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Maurice Samuels

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763844

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763844.001.0001

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Ghetto Fiction: Daniel Stauben, David Schornstein, and the Uses of the Jewish Past

Ghetto Fiction: Daniel Stauben, David Schornstein, and the Uses of the Jewish Past

(p.193) Five Ghetto Fiction: Daniel Stauben, David Schornstein, and the Uses of the Jewish Past
Inventing the Israelite
Stanford University Press

Between 1849 and 1853, Auguste Widal published a series of nine “Lettres sur les moeurs alsaciennes” (Letters on Alsatian Manners in the Reform Jewish newspaper Les Archives Israélites. He published a book adaptation of the series entitled Scènes de la vie juive en Alsace (Scenes of Jewish Life in Alsace), using the pseudonym Daniel Stauben. At a time when large numbers of Jews in France and Germany had already broken free from their own Jewish past, Stauben's book gave rise to a new form of “ghetto nostalgia” in French and German literature and art after the Revolution of 1848, one that became one of the defining forms of modern Jewish literature and helped institute a new relation to the Jewish past as well as a new use for Jewish history. This chapter explores how nineteenth-century ghetto fiction, including the works of David Schornstein, offers up the past as the ground for new forms of Jewish identity in the present, an approach that differs from the other solutions which have been proposed to address the problem of Jewish modernity.

Keywords:   Auguste Widal, Alsatian Manners, Jewish Life, Daniel Stauben, David Schornstein, ghetto nostalgia, ghetto fiction, Jewish history, Jewish identity, Jews

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