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

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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 development of some striking writers who, for varied purposes and in quite a few methods, stated Scripture for his or her personal goal, as Antonio’s “devil,” Shylock, does within the service provider of Venice.By analyzing the paintings of key figures within the early background of Jewish literature throughout the prism in their allusions to classical Jewish texts, the e-book focuses cognizance at the superb and hugely complicated ideas the maskilim hired to accomplish their polemical and ideological targets. Dauber makes use of this technique to check foundational texts by means of many of the Jewish Enlightenment’s finest and significant authors, attaining new and infrequently unbelievable conclusions.

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Extra info 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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Shapiro 41. 47. See Shapiro 137. 48. On Broughton, a fascinating Wgure who refused “to dismiss Talmudic and other rabbinic authorities out of hand,” but did so in order to “facilitate the conversion of the Jews,” see Shapiro 147–149. For other examples of non-Jews drawing on “Jewish precedents” and the Talmud for legal purposes, see Shapiro 174. 49. Shapiro 136. See also 151. 19 20 Setting the Stage One might suppose that such movement by Christian Hebraists away from classic Christological Biblical interpretations, to say nothing of the increasing adoption of Jewish and rabbinical scholarship, could only lead to positive rapprochement between Jew and non-Jew.

The book’s second section focuses on Prussia in the age of Moses Mendelssohn (Chapter Four) and Aaron Halle-Wolfssohn (Chapter Five). The third and Wnal section discusses Joseph Perl, the giant of the Galician Haskala, and his relationship to Hasidic literature and the new Yiddish literature (Chapters Six and Seven). A brief coda oVers suggestions for further study and research. For many years, it was taken as a commonplace in the study of Jewish literature that modern Hebrew and Yiddish literature boasted the same founding Wgure, Sholem Yankev Abramovitch (better known as Mendele Moykher Seforim), who began writing almost half a century after this book’s period ends.

He insists on severe and inXexible justice, and it at last recoils on his own head. ”72 We have argued for Shylock as archetype and allegory, and indeed in the early modern period, much of modern Jewish history, and certainly modern Jewish literature, reXects precisely the factors adumbrated in this brief scene. Both broadly and in greater detail, this book 71. Gross 211. 72. Cited in Gross 213. Antonio’s Devil traces the origins of modern Jewish literature by following the progress of a few remarkable individuals who did, for various reasons and in various ways, cite Scripture for their own purpose.

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