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Goethe and Judaism

The Troubled Inheritance of Modern Literature

Karin Schutjer

 In Goethe and Judaism, Schutjer aims to provide a broad, though by no means exhaustive, literary study that is neither apologetic nor reductive, that attends to the complexity and irony of Goethe’s literary work but takes his representations of Judaism seriously as an integral part of his thought and writing. She is thus concerned not simply with accusing or acquitting Goethe of prejudice but rather with discerning the function and logic of his relationship to Judaism, as seen within his work. Her premise is that Goethe’s conception of modernity—his anxieties as well as his most affirmative vision concerning the trajectory of his age—are deeply entwined with his conception of Judaism. Schutjer argues that behind his very mixed representations of Jews and Judaism stand crucial tensions within his own thinking and a distinct anxiety of influence. Indeed, Goethe, she contends, paradoxically wrestles against precisely those impulses in Judaism for which he feels the greatest affinity, which most approach his own vision of modernity. The discourse of wandering in Goethe’s work serves as a key site where Judaism and modernity meet.

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Gogol's Afterlife

The Evolution of a Classic in Imperial and Soviet Russia

Caryl Emerson

Gogol's claim to the title of national literary classic is incontestable. An exemplar of popular audiences no less than for the intelligentsia, Gogol was pressed into service under the tsarist and Soviet regimes for causes both aesthetic and political, official and unofficial. In Gogol's Afterlife, Stephen Moeller Sally explores how he achieved this peculiar brand of cultural authority and later maintained it, despite dramatic shifts in the organization of Russian literature and society.

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Grains of the Voice

Poems

Christine Pugh

Christina Pugh’s Grains of the Voice exhibits a pervasive fascination with sound in all its manifestations. The hu­man voice, musical instruments, the sounds produced by the natural and man-made worlds—all serve at one time or another as both the framework of poems and the occa­sion for their lightning-quick changes of direction, of tone, of point of reference. The poems are eclectic in their al­lusiveness, filled with echoes—and sometimes the words themselves—of other poets, but just as often of songs both popular and obscure, of the noise of pop culture, and of philosophers’ writings. But Pugh always wears her learn­ing lightly. Beneath the jewellike surfaces of her poems is a strenuous investigation of the nature of and need for communication and a celebration of the endless variety of its forms. 

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Gust

Poems

Greg Alan Brownderville

Greg Alan Brownderville is an assistant professor of English at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. His poems have appeared in Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Arkansas Review, and other publications.

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H. G. Adler

Life, Literature, Legacy

Edited by Julia Creet, Sara R. Horowitz, and Amira Bojadzija-Dan

H. G. Adler: Life, Literature, Legacy is the first collection of essays in English dedicated to the life and work of German-language author H. G. Adler. Among the international scholars of German, Jewish, and Holocaust literature and history who reveal the range of Adler’s legacy across genres are Adler’s son, Jeremy Adler, and Peter Filkins, translator of Adler’s trilogy, Panorama (The Journey). Together, the essays examine Adler’s writing in relation to his life, especially his memory as a survivor of the Nazi death camps and his posthumous recognition for having produced a Gesamtkunstwerk, an aesthetic synthesis of the Shoah. The book carries the moral charge of Adler’s work, moving beyond testimony to a complex dialectic between fact and fiction, exploring Adler’s experiments with voice and the ethical work of literary engagement with the Shoah.

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Hamann and the Tradition

Lisa Marie Anderson

Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of scholarly interest in the work of Johann Georg Hamann (1730–1788), across disciplines. New translations of work by and about Hamann are appearing, as are a number of books and ar­ticles on Hamann’s aesthetics, theories of language and sexuality, and unique place in Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment thought.

Edited by Lisa Marie Anderson, Hamann and the Tradition gathers estab­lished and emerging scholars to examine the full range of Hamann’s im­pact—be it on German Romanticism or on the very practice of theology. Of particular interest to those not familiar with Hamann will be a chapter devoted to examining—or in some cases, placing—Hamann in dialogue with other important thinkers, such as Socrates, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

 

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Harlem's Theaters

A Staging Ground for Community, Class, and Contradiction, 1923-1939

Adrienne Macki Braconi

Based on a vast amount of archival research, Adrienne Macki Braconi’s illuminating study of three important community-based theaters in Harlem shows how their work was essential to the formation of a public identity for African Americans and the articulation of their goals, laying the groundwork for the emergence of the Civil Rights movement. Macki Braconi uses textual analysis, performance reconstruction, and audience reception to examine the complex dynamics of productions by the Krigwa Players, the Harlem Experimental Theatre, and the Negro Theatre of the Federal Theatre Project. Even as these theaters demonstrated the extraordinary power of activist art, they also revealed its limits. The stage was a site in which ideological and class differences played out, theater being both a force for change and a collision of contradictory agendas. Macki Braconi’s book alters our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, the roots of the Civil Rights movement, and the history of community theater in America.


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Head Off & Split

Poems

Nikky Finney

Nikky Finney was born at the rim of the Atlantic Ocean, in South Carolina, in 1957. The daughter of activists and educators, she began writing in the midst of the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements. With these instrumental eras circling her, Finney's work provides first-person literary accounts to some of the most important events in American history.

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Hegel and Deleuze

Together Again for the First Time

Karen Houle and Jim Vernon

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Hegel and Spinoza

Substance and Negativity

Gregor Moder, with a foreword by Mladen Dolar

Gregor Moder’s Hegel and Spinoza: Substance and Negativity is a lively entry into current debates surrounding the issues raised by Hegel’s readings of Spinoza, from the Lacanians and Deleuzeans to the Althusserians and Heideggerians.

Hegel and Spinoza have inspired generations of scholars and sparked two of the most influential philosophical traditions that persist to this day. Just as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German Idealism legitimated itself through its attempt to transcend Spinozist determinacy by reserving a place for the freedom of the subject, so, too, did the twentieth-century French materialism of Althusser, Deleuze, and others by deploying Spinoza as the champion of anti-Hegelian materialism. This set of alternatives, or, rather, mutual theoretical rejection, is perhaps nowhere quite as evident as in the controversies between contemporary Deleuzeans and Lacanians.

Contemporary materialist philosophy is either Spinozist or Hegelian—it either abolishes the concepts of the subject and negation, arguing for pure affirmation, that is, the vitalistic production of differences, or it makes a case for the productiveness of concepts of the negative, nothingness, and death. Hegel and Spinoza: Substance and Negativity both traces the historical elements of these alternatives and explains contemporary discussions as its variation, persuasively demonstrating throughout that the best way to read Hegel and Spinoza is not in opposition or contrast, but together: as Hegel and Spinoza.

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