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Viennese Jewish Modernism: Freud, Hofmannstahl, Beer-Hofmann, and Schnitzler

Viennese Jewish Modernism: Freud, Hofmannstahl, Beer-Hofmann, and Schnitzler

By Abigail Gillman

"Gillman's book is as rich and paradoxical as Jewish assimilation itself, for the author is at once telling a particularly Jewish and a larger European story of aesthetic, cultural, and sometimes even political engagement with tradition."—William Donahue, Duke University

“Argued with verve and originality, this book calls for a 'more inclusive understanding of the place of Jewish writing' in the modernist tradition. Illustrations and notes, including the German originals of the passages cited, add to the book's appeal. "-AND. Wickersham, Choice

"Viennese Jewish Modernism is a major accomplishment and provides a wealth of new ideas and information."—Alison Rose, Journal of Jewish Identities

In Viennese Jewish Modernism, Abigail Gillman challenges the conventional understanding of modernism as simply a break from tradition. Until recently, the study of Jewish modernism has centered on questions of Jewish and non-Jewish identity, generally ignoring the role Judaism played in the formulation of European modernism as a whole. By focusing on the works of major Viennese authors and thinkers -- Freud, Hofmannstahl, Beer-Hofmann, and Schnitzler -- both within and outside the context of Jewish identity, Abigail Gillman provides a profound new perspective on modernism. Viennese Jewish Modernism draws together three central turn-of-the-century cultural phenomena: the breakdown of traditional modes of transmitting the past to the present; the unprecedented Jewish contribution to Viennese culture as a whole; and the development of a specifically Jewish modernism in Europe. Through her consideration of the larger questions of memorialism and memory, the construction of history and identity, and the nature of modernism, Gillman demonstrates that modernism is powerfully drawn to the past and actively engaged with tradition.

223 pages
Penn State University Press, 2009
7 x 9.5 x .75 Inches
ISBN 9780271034096
Austrian History, Modernism

$61.95 $61.95