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Feuchtwanger and Judaism

History, Imagination, Exile

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Edited By Paul Lerner and Frank Stern

This collection of essays is devoted to the Jewish themes that ran through Lion Feuchtwanger’s life, works and worlds. Beginning with a selection of Feuchtwanger’s unpublished writings, speeches, and interviews, the volume examines the author’s approaches to Jewish history, Zionism, Judaism’s relationship to early Christianity and to eastern religions, and Jewish identity through his works, above all his historical fiction. Essays also trace translations of his works into English and Russian, and the meaning of his writing for various communities of Jewish and non-Jewish readers in Britain, North America, and the Soviet Union. A final section frames the issues around Feuchtwanger and Jewishness more broadly by considering the condition of exile and expanding the focus to communities of émigré writers and political figures in North America and beyond.
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9 „Umwerthung aller Werthe“? Heinrich Mann, Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert und das Judentum (Michaela Enderle-Ristori)

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Michaela Enderle-Ristori

9 „Umwerthung aller Werthe“? Heinrich Mann, Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert und das Judentum

abstract

Heinrich Mann’s writings from the period of his political exile are landmarks of German political journalism and preeminent credentials for his anti-Nazi stances. Yet at the same time they contain alterations and critical revisions of the positions the author represented in his youth. Indeed, Heinrich Mann’s early journalistic works (like his early literary endeavors) were clearly influenced by nationalist-conservative thought, at the basis of which lay an antisemitic disposition. His contributions to the völkisch-nationalistic newspaper Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert [The Twentieth Century], for which he served as editor from 1895 to 1896, remain a controversial research subject. Now, with the publication of volume 1 (May 1889-August 1904) of the Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Essays und Publizistik [Critical Editions of the Essays and Journalistic Writings], the texts are finally available in complete form and permit an overall appraisal of this early journalistic writing. They yield the view that his anti-semitism should not only be understood as part of an anti-modern discourse but that at the core of Heinrich Mann’s rhetoric stand dichotomous conceptions (“German” vs. “Jew,” “national” vs. “international”) which fed into discourses that excluded and stigmatized the Jews. As Mann subsequently undertook a revision of his system of cultural values between 1896 and 1903, his engagement with the late Nietzsche and Nietzsche’s concept of reevaluating all values played a central role. Henceforth, for Mann “Jewish” and “international” took on positive...

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