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The Discourse on Yiddish in Germany from the Enlightenment to the Second Empire 9781571130198

The Discourse on Yiddish in Germany from the Enlightenment to the Second Empire

ISBN-10: 1571130195
ISBN-13: 9781571130198
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: Camden House
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: This book explores the uses of Yiddish language in German literary and cultural texts from the onset of Jewish civil emancipation in the Germanies in 1781 until the late 19th century. Showing the various functions Yiddish assumed at this time, the study crosses traditional boundaries between literary and non-literary texts. It focuses on responses to Yiddish in genres of literature ranging from drama to language handbooks, from cultural criticism to the realist novel in order to address broader issues of literary representation and Jewish-German relations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Professor Grossman shows how the emergence of attitudes toward Jews and Yiddish is directly related to linguistic theories and cultural ideologies that bear a complex relationship to the changing social and political institutions of the time. Amidst the rise of national ideologies and modern anti-Semitism, the increasing consolidation of institutions, and the drive to cultural homogeneity in the 18th- and 19th-century German context, Yiddish functioned as an anarchic element that, in the view of its opponents, "threatened" to dissolve German national culture. Grossman locates the response to Yiddish in the context of historical events (the Hep Hep Riots of 1819, the Revolution of 1848) and institutional changes (Jewish legal emancipation, the promotion of Bildung as an educational and cultural ideal). In its methodology and its focus, this study seeks to show how the conflicted responses to the Yiddish language point to the problems that connected and frequently divided Jews and Germans as they sought to re-invent themselves for a new and unsettling context.

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 274
CATEGORY: History, Literary Criticism, Religion
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