Show Less
Restricted access

Feuchtwanger and Judaism

History, Imagination, Exile


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 Beginning with a selection of Feuchtwanger’s unpublished writings, speeches, and interviews, the volume examines the author’s approaches to Jewish history, Zionism, Judaism’s relationship to early Christianity and to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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

10 Listening in the Waiting Room: Feuchtwanger on the Acoustics of Exile (Sean Nye)


Sean Nye

10 Listening in the Waiting Room: Feuchtwanger on the Acoustics of Exile


This essay foregrounds music and sound, crucial yet seldom discussed topics in Feuchtwanger studies, as it analyzes the narrative techniques in the author’s Waiting Room trilogy. Along with the trilogy’s aim “to document for posterity,” the essay argues that we can see the emergence of an acoustics of exile. It engages Feuchtwanger’s symphonic image of “The Waiting Room” as a way of addressing music’s link to the experience of exile and the problem of historical knowledge. In this reading of the trilogy, the “Waiting Room” symphony sheds light on the role music plays in all three books, as related especially to Feuchtwanger’s treatment of religion, politics, and modern media.

There exists, I am suggesting, between the conscientious author of historical novels and the conscientious historian the same difference that exists between a composer on the one hand and a researcher into the problems of acoustics. Asking the author of historical novels to teach you about history is like expecting the composer of a melody to provide answers about radio transmission.1

— Lion Feuchtwanger

In terms of literary responses to political crises, the Waiting Room Trilogy by Lion Feuchtwanger presents a case of singular urgency. The three novels that make up the trilogy, Success (1930), The Oppermanns (1933), and Exile←215 | 216→ (1940),2 were written over a span of twelve years – during the crucial...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.