The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus And Jewish Self-fashioning In Fin-de-siècle Europe

Hardcover | February 1, 2008

byPaul Reitter

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In turn-of-the-century Vienna, Karl Kraus created a bold new style of media criticism, penning incisive satires that elicited both admiration and outrage. Kraus’s spectacularly hostile critiques often focused on his fellow Jewish journalists, which brought him a reputation as the quintessential self-hating Jew. The Anti-Journalist overturns this view with unprecedented force and sophistication, showing how Kraus’s criticisms form the center of a radical model of German-Jewish self-fashioning, and how that model developed in concert with Kraus’s modernist journalistic style.
Paul Reitter’s study of Kraus’s writings situates them in the context of fin-de-siècle German-Jewish intellectual society. He argues that rather than stemming from anti-Semitism, Kraus’s attacks constituted an innovative critique of mainstream German-Jewish strategies for assimilation. Marshalling three of the most daring German-Jewish authors—Kafka, Scholem, and Benjamin—Reitter explains their admiration for Kraus’s project and demonstrates his influence on their own notions of cultural authenticity.
 
The Anti-Journalist is at once a new interpretation of a fascinating modernist oeuvre and a heady exploration of an important stage in the history of German-Jewish thinking about identity.

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In turn-of-the-century Vienna, Karl Kraus created a bold new style of media criticism, penning incisive satires that elicited both admiration and outrage. Kraus’s spectacularly hostile critiques often focused on his fellow Jewish journalists, which brought him a reputation as the quintessential self-hating Jew. The Anti-Journalist over...

Paul Reitter is associate professor of German at Ohio State University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:February 1, 2008Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226709701

ISBN - 13:9780226709703

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
A Note on Editions
 
A Note on Translations 
Introduction: All That Is Solid Melts into Ink
 
1          German Jews and the Writing of Modern Life   
 
2          Karl Kraus and the Jewish Self-Hatred Question 
 
3          Mirror-Man 

4          Messianic Journalism? Benjamin and Scholem Read Die Fackel  

Conclusion: The Afterlife of Anti-Journalism     

Notes

Bibliography 
Index

Editorial Reviews

"An important study that significantly advances critical examinations of Kraus, Jews, journalism, and culture in turn-of-the-century Vienna. By placing Kraus's anti-Semitic discourse at center stage, the book represents an important step forward in plotting Jewishness and anti-Semitism onto the broader map of Central European society and culture."