Antonio's Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and by Jeremy Dauber

By Jeremy Dauber

Antonio’s Devils bargains either traditionally and theoretically with the origins of contemporary Hebrew and Yiddish literature by means of tracing the growth of some amazing writers who, for numerous purposes and in a number of methods, brought up Scripture for his or her personal goal, as Antonio’s “devil,” Shylock, does within the service provider of Venice.By reading the paintings of key figures within the early heritage of Jewish literature throughout the prism in their allusions to classical Jewish texts, the ebook focuses cognizance at the remarkable and hugely advanced techniques the maskilim hired to accomplish their polemical and ideological objectives. Dauber makes use of this system to envision foundational texts via a few of the Jewish Enlightenment’s finest and significant authors, attaining new and sometimes dazzling conclusions.

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Extra resources for Antonio's Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)

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In fact, portraying Shylock, Shakespeare 38. 70–115. 39 Shylock is caught in a bind; tainted by the non-Jewish economic community he spends his time with, that community’s denial of social equality in turn results in homicidal frustration. This tension between shared heritage and diVerentiated heritage is well expressed in Shylock’s usage of Biblical text. ”40 On the one hand, Shylock seems to claim this story as his own particularly Jewish tale: the Wgure of the Old Testament, a Jacob, using his own texts to defeat the hostile Christian.

Regardless of geography or chronology, these Wgures all saw themselves as trying to bridge two worlds: the world of external, non-Jewish culture and the world of Jewish tradition. Contrary to contemporary and current popular belief, many of these Wgures, particularly in the Haskala’s Wrst generation, did not wish to abandon Jewish tradition. Many were themselves traditionally observant. This did not stop their traditionalist opponents from harassing them, haranguing them, and even (in some cases) dancing on their graves: the maskilim were not merely Antonio’s devils, but demonic Wgures for much of the traditional Jewish community as well.

17. See, for example, Bemaavakei tmura 35–43; Age 48–72; and “ ‘Ktav Yosher’ leShaul Berlin: lereshita shel hasatira behaskala haivrit begermania,” HUCA 64 (1994), 1–25, 19–25. 20 The most interesting theoretical work on the subject thus far appears in a series of articles by Tova Cohen. ”22 Cohen pays particular attention to the education of the maskilim as children,23 arguing that as a result of their intensive training, the 18. Moshe Pelli, “The Literary Genre of the Travelogue in Hebrew Haskalah Literature: Shmuel Romanelli’s Masa Ba’arav,” Modern Judaism 11:2 (1991), 241– 260, and “Leshimusha” 58, 65, where his conclusion, that textual citations are not mere verse fragments but carefully selected citations that illuminate and comment on the narrative, is vital to any understanding of maskilic literature.

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