The “Imaginary Jew” in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures                             Cover Image
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The “Imaginary Jew” in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures
The “Imaginary Jew” in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures

Author(s): Moshe Idel
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Romanian Assoc. for the History of Religions & Inst. for the History of Religions, Romanian Academy

Summary/Abstract: There is hardly a Jewish community whose history and culture have been neglected for so many decades like Romanian Jewry. And, at the same time, there is hardly a Jewish community, which has been studied in such an intense manner in the last years. We may indeed speak about of a renaissance of studies, which includes numerous and voluminous publications in a variety of languages, which was able to have an impact much beyond the limited audience of Romanians, Jews or not. Mihai Sebastian’s Journal was printed recently, translated into major languages, but become a play on Broadway. The riches of the cultural creativity of this community are steadily surfacing also beyond the limits of the readers of Romanian: to name only some important names like Tristan Tzara, Benjamin Fondane, Paul Celan and Dan Pagis, among the poets, Mihai Sebastian, Elie Wiesel, Norman Manea and Aharon Appelfeld among the prose writers, Moses Gaster and Solomon Schechter as scholars of Jewish religion. Due to the recent studies of Jean Ancel, Moshe Carmilly-Weinberg, Carol Iancu, Liviu Rotman, Leon Volovici or Tzvi Yavetz — to mention only some of the most noted names — the vicissitudes of the Jewish history in modern times in Romania become well documented. The recent focus on the rightist past of Mircea Eliade stimulated a series of studies in which the political and cultural scene of interbellic Romania attracted the attention of many scholars of religion and historians of culture. Saul Bellow’s novel Ravelstein is just one example of this new curiosity about the relevance of long forgotten and hidden events that reverberate not only on the Israeli scene, but also on the European and American ones.

  • Issue Year: XII/2007
  • Issue No: __
  • Page Range: 333-336
  • Page Count: 4
  • Language: English
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