The Jew in the Literature of...

The Jew in the Literature of England sums up a history of the Jew as he was reflected in the literature of a civilization. Modder's sense of incident and detail, his command of a whole literature, his capacity to develop the social history that underpins literature make his study both absorbing and illuminating.

the villains because they are “ bad” and accept the heroes because they are “ good”? Shall we suppose that Shylock is mostly a literary figment, and accept Siegfried as a deeply idealized portrait of a continuing racial reality? If, to take a different example, Natty Bumppo is an idealized portrait, half romance and half reality, are Cooper’s heroines also idealized portraits, half reality and half romance; and hav-ing the reality part in mind, can we truly believe that Amer-ican women were ever so tiresome and sappy as most read-ers find the Cooper heroine to be? When does literature mirror life, and when does it impose wholly fictitious judg-ments upon us? Mr. Modder’s study not only suggests questions like these, but it suggests even more important questions about the sociology of literature. According to one theory of liter-ary history, books reflect life so immediately that one can argue from literary decadence to social decadence, so that, from the novels of Faulkner and Hemingway and others, one infers the death of contemporary American society in its present form. What, however, shall we do with the atti-tude of authors towards the Jew? Why is the tradition, as Mr. Modder traces it, generally inimical to the male Jew and generally tender to his wife or daughter? Is this a mark of gallantry, or does it infer, as ridiculous anti- Semitic propaganda might assert, that horrid capitalists, long ago instinctively recognizing incipient Communism, have strongly influenced writers to be hostile towards the gen-erations of Israel? This logic is not more wildly absurd than the logic of those who naively insist that literature mirrors social change directly, nor more idiotic than those who talk about the international Jew and international Communism. INTRODUCTION xi   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

The Jew in the Literature of England


About Book The Jew in the Literature of England

FRONT MATTERTitle pageDedication PageCopyright PagePrefaceContentsIntroduction by Howard Mumford JonesI. The Jew in Medieval EnglandII. The Tudor RenaissanceIII. The Return of the Jew to EnglandIV. The Eighteenth CenturyV. The Dawn of a New Era: 18001833VI. The Romantic RevivalVII. The Regency Novelists and Sir Walter ScottVIII. Among the Early VictoriansIX. The Disraelian EraX. Charles Dickens and the Realistic SchoolXI. The Victorian CompromiseXII. The End of an EraXIII. The Old Order changeth . . .XIV. ConclusionNOTESBIBLIOGRAPHYGLOSSARYINDEX
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