German-jewish Thought And Its Afterlife: A Tenuous Legacy

Paperback | February 27, 2017

byVivian Liska

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The visions of modernity depicted inthe writings of major Modernist German-Jewish writers and philosophersmanifest,says Vivian Liska, the paradoxical dynamic that the break with tradition invokesfigures of thought derived from Jewish tradition. InGerman-Jewish Thought and Its Afterlife,Liska innovatively focuses on the changing form, fate and function of messianism, law, exile, election, remembrance, and the transmission of tradition itself in three different temporal and intellectual frameworks: German-Jewish modernism, postmodernism, and the current period. Highlighting these elements of theJewish tradition in the works of Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, and Paul Celan, Liska reflects on dialogues and conversations between themandonthereception of their work.She shows how this Jewish dimension of their writings is transformed, but remains significant in the theories of Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida and how it is appropriated, dismissed or denied by some of the most acclaimed thinkers at the turn of the twenty-first century such as Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj ?i?ek, and Alain Badiou.

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The visions of modernity depicted inthe writings of major Modernist German-Jewish writers and philosophersmanifest,says Vivian Liska, the paradoxical dynamic that the break with tradition invokesfigures of thought derived from Jewish tradition. InGerman-Jewish Thought and Its Afterlife,Liska innovatively focuses on the changing form, f...

Vivian Liska is Professor of German Literature and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is also Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Faculty of the Humanities at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is author of When Kafka Says We: Uncommon Communities in German-Jewish Literature (IUP...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:February 27, 2017Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253024854

ISBN - 13:9780253024855

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction

I Tradition and Transmission
1. Early Jewish Modernity and Arendt's Rahel
2. Tradition and the Hidden: Arendt Reading Scholem
3. Transmitting the Gap in Time: Arendt and Agamben

II Law and Narration
4. "As if Not": Agamben as Reader of Kafka
5. Kafka, Narrative, and the Law
6. Kafka's Other Job: From Susman to ?i?ek

III Messianic Language
7. Pure Languages: Benjamin and Blanchot on Translation
8. Ideas of Prose: Benjamin and Agamben
9. Reading Scholem and Benjamin on the Demonic

IV Exile, Remembrance, Exemplarity
10. Paradoxes of Exemplarity: From Celan to Derrida
11. Two Kinds of Strangers: Celan and Bachmann
12. Exile as Experience and Metaphor: From Celan to Badiou
13. Geoffrey Hartman on Midrash and Testimony

Epilogue: New Angels
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"In a highly sophisticated--but clearly written and accessible manner--Vivian Liska traces the impact of the Jewish tradition on modernist German-Jewish thought and provocatively points to the challenges facing this aspect of its legacy for our own time. This is perhaps the only work which deals with the ambiguous, and sometimes obsessive, ways in which leading thinkers, right into the twenty-first century, confront, symbolically re-appropriate, and at times de-nature, the figure of 'the Jew.'" -Steven E. Aschheim, author of Beyond the Border: The German-Jewish Legacy Abroad