lundi 17 mai 2021

Jonathan Freedman : Jonathan Freedman The Jewish Decadence. Jews and the Aesthetics of Modernity

University of Chicago Press - Mai 2021

As Jewish writers, artists, and intellectuals made their way into Western European and Anglo-American cultural centers, they encountered a society obsessed with decadence. An avant-garde movement characterized by self-consciously artificial art and literature, philosophic pessimism, and an interest in nonnormative sexualities, decadence was also a smear, whereby Jews were viewed as the source of social and cultural decline. In The Jewish Decadence, Jonathan Freedman argues that Jewish engagement with decadence played a major role in the emergence of modernism and the making of Jewish culture from the 1870s to the present.
The first to tell this sweeping story, Freedman demonstrates the centrality of decadence to the aesthetics of modernity and its inextricability from Jewishness. Freedman recounts a series of diverse and surprising episodes that he insists do not belong solely to the past, but instead reveal that the identification of Jewishness with decadence persists today.


Preface, by Daniel Hack and Amy Hungerford
Introduction: “Our Two-Step Is the Modern Decadence!”
1 Qu’est-ce que c’est la décadence? And What Does It Have to Do with Jews?
2 Oscar Wilde among the Jews
3 Salomania and the Remaking of the Jewish Female Body from Sarah Bernhardt to Betty Boop
4 Coming Out of the Jewish Closet with Marcel Proust
5 Pessimism, Jewish Style: Jews Reading Schopenhauer from Freud to Bellow
6 Walter Benjamin’s Paris, Capital of Jewish Aesthetic Modernity
7 Dybbuks, Vampires, and Other Fin-de-Siècle Jewish Phantasms
Conclusion: The Deca-danse; or, The Afterlife of the Jewish Decadent

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