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How Strange the ChangeLanguage, Temporality, and Narrative Form in Peripheral Modernisms$
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Marc Caplan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774765

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774765.001.0001

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Haskole and Negritude Compared

Haskole and Negritude Compared

Chapter:
(p.83) Three Haskole and Negritude Compared
Source:
How Strange the Change
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804774765.003.0005

This chapter compares haskole and negritude, two philosophical movements that seek modernization without assimilation to the modern hegemony. Haskole attempts to Judaize the Enlightenment, a “universal” movement, by revising ideas that primarily came from France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy. Negritude attempts to universalize the Black experience and to represent Blacks in a schematic relationship with other cultures. Haskolepremises its modernity on a rejection of the Jewish “folk,” particularly the folk language, Yiddish. Negritude is a synthesizing position between traditional Africa and modern Europe, and articulates a situation similar to the ambivalent attitude toward assimilation and autonomy that characterizes haskole. This chapter also examines what kind of society that was envisioned by maskilim for a modern Jewish culture, and how it differed from the shtetl reality of Eastern Europe. To this end, the chapter looks at a programmatic manuscript by the “moderate” maskil Isaac Meyer Dik, with an emphasis on the linguistic question of daytshmerism—the conscious importation of modern German into Yiddish. It also considers how negritude is connected to the works of Amos Tutuola and Reb Nakhman.

Keywords:   Isaac Meyer Dik, Reb Nakhman, Amos Tutuola, haskole, negritude, modernity, Yiddish, maskilim, daytshmerism, German

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