This article focuses on the role of the coffeehouse in the Haskalah and its literatures. Scholars of modern Jewish literature have not paid enough attention to the coffeehouse and to its important role as a new kind of Jewish space, one that enabled and fostered novel forms of journalism and literature. This is especially true for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the period associated mostly with the Haskalah. Thinking about Haskalah culture in spatial terms usually relies on a dichotomy between the synagogue and secular institutions, the idea that religion constituted the single moral authority and was exclusively associated with the synagogue, the house of study, and other traditional Jewish spaces. This article focuses on the importance of the café as a thirdspace, in Edward Soja's terms, one that does not fit comfortably in the dichotomy between religious and secular spaces (or other dichotomies such as public and private, inside and outside). The café was crucial for the creation of modern Jewish culture, and it helps us to identify and understand the contiguities of the modern Jewish literary complex.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 369-408
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.