Modernist Form and the Myth of Jewification (BOK)

Neil Levi

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From the mid-nineteenth century until the end of the Second World War, if not beyond, certain works of European modernist art, literature, and music that were neither by nor about Jews have nevertheless been interpreted as somehow Jewish, or, more precisely, Jewified. In Modernist Form and the Myth of Jewification Neil Levi argues that these strange interpretations, although hostile toward and often deliberately incomprehending of their object, need to be treated as integral to the history of European modernism. To grasp why he suggests we turn our attention away from the dominant scholarly preoccupation with abject Jewish bodies and toward the antisemitic fantasy of a mobile, dangerous, contagious Jewish spirit, a spirit identified both with modernity and regression to an ancient past. Levi tracks how this fantasy unfolds in the antimodernist polemics of Richard Wagner, Max Nordau, Wyndham Lewis, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine, reaching its apotheosis in the notorious 1937 Nazi exhibition of "Degenerate Art," then turns to James Joyce, Theodor Adorno, and Samuel Beckett, offering radical new interpretations of these modernist authors to show how each presents his own poetics as a self-conscious departure from the modern antisemitic imaginary. Modernist Form and the Myth of Jewification claims that we are not yet done with the myth of Jewification: that just as antisemites once feared their own contamination by a mobile, polluting Jewish spirit, so too much of postwar thought remains governed by the fear that we might be contaminated by the spirit of antisemitism. Thus Levi argues for the need to confront and work through our own fantasies and projections not only about the figure of the Jew but also that of the antisemite. This provocative new work makes a bold, original contribution to discussions of modern art and literature, and identity politics in modernity.

Produktfakta

Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 2014 Forfatter Neil Levi
Forlag
Marston Book DMARSTO Orphans
ISBN 9780823255061
Antall sider 272 Dimensjoner 15,7cm x 22,9cm x 2,8cm
Vekt 499 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Jewish studies, The arts: general issues