Jewish Feeling: Difference and Affect in Nineteenth-Century Jewish Women's Writing (New Directions in Religion and Literature)
By: Richa Dwor (author)Hardback
Jewish Feeling brings together affect theory and Jewish Studies to trace Jewish difference in literary works by nineteenth-century Anglo-Jewish authors. Dwor argues that midrash, a classical rabbinic interpretive form, is a site of Jewish feeling and that literary works underpinned by midrashic concepts engage affect in a distinctly Jewish way. The book thus emphasises the theological function of literature and also the new opportunities afforded by nineteenth-century literary forms for Jewish women's theological expression. For authors such as Grace Aguilar (1816-1847) and Amy Levy (1861-1889), feeling is a complex and overlapping category that facilitates the transmission of Jewish ways of thinking into English literary forms. Dwor reads them alongside George Eliot, herself deeply engaged with issues of contemporary Jewish identity. This sheds new light on Eliot by positioning her works in a nexus of Jewish forms and concerns. Ultimately, and despite considerable differences in style and outlook, Aguilar and Levy are shown to deploy Jewish feeling in their ethics of futurity, resistance to conversion and closure, and in their foregrounding of a model of reading with feeling.
Richa Dwor is an Honorary Fellow of the Victorian Studies Centre, University of Leicester, UK.
Introduction: Affect and Jewish Feeling What is affect? What is midrash? Midrash and affect Chapter 1 - 'The still undercurrent of deep feeling': history and nation for Grace Aguilar 'More than unusually moved': representing women's reading 'The full gushing tide of rapture': theorising women's reading 'The Bible, and that nation whose earliest history it so vividly records' Jewish histories for England's Jews Chapter 2 - 'Finer and finer discrimination': George Eliot's feeling for the Jews 'Various combinations of common likeness': fellow feeling and the ethics of form 'Absorbing enthusiasm': education and identity 'A people with oriental sunlight in their blood': Jewish nationalism Chapter 3 - 'A fragment of the eternal truth': futurity and race for Amy Levy 'That elaborate misconception': debating Deronda with George Eliot and Henry James 'Startling with excess of truth': futurity and poetic unfitness 'A strange yearning affection': the racial romance of Reuben Sachs Conclusion - Esther and Judith in London Index
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- ID: 9781472589798
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