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      The Beautiful Jewess as Borderline Figure in Europe's Internal Colonialism: Some Remarks on the Intertwining of Orientalism and Antisemitism

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      ReOrient
      Pluto Journals
      beautiful Jewess, borderline figure, “figure of the third,”, allosemitism, internal colonialism
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            Abstract

            European Orientalism had different societal and cultural frames in France and Great Britain. These were the main objects of investigation in Said's book Orientalism, a process which Said treats as an explicit political-colonial setting and colonial discourse. According to Said's widely criticized thesis, Germany, a country without many colonies, played no important role in the scholarly and political enactment of orientalism. Referring to the prestigious German orientalist and biblical scholarship, and also to processes of internal orientalization as tools of Germany's “colonial fantasies” and minority politics, this contribution explores discourses on the “Orient” as a prominent way in which to form a discursive construction of the Jews as internal Others. Moving beyond Said's dictum that orientalism is “a strange, secret sharer of Western anti-Semitism,” I investigate the plural history of topical discourses, hybrid figures and recurrent narratives that symbolize internal religious and cultural differences. The Jews have often been regarded in the Western world as occidental and oriental. The liminal position of the Jews in European imagination is all the more relevant when it comes to the gendered dimension of orientalist discourse. This article focuses on the figure of the “beautiful Jewess,” analyzed as the gendered and affective embodiment of the Jewish Question. Starting from the presupposition of her situatedness on a border zone between religions and cultures, I focus on her depiction in literature. I analyze how literature explores the ambivalences of the stereotype and opens up third spaces of reflection. Narrative and scenic discourses on the “Orient” are analyzed as a multi-layered and ambivalent ensemble of relational references. A special focus is on the role of gender in the representation of the Jews as “internal Orientals.”

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.2307/j50009694
            reorient
            ReOrient
            Pluto Journals
            2055-5601
            2055-561X
            1 April 2019
            : 4
            : 2 ( doiID: 10.13169/reorient.4.issue-2 )
            : 166-180
            Affiliations
            Maastricht University, The Netherlands
            Article
            reorient.4.2.0166
            10.13169/reorient.4.2.0166
            b51d5c31-c436-4c36-bc51-a333f0e3150c
            © 2019 Pluto Journals

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            History
            Custom metadata
            eng

            Literary studies,Religious studies & Theology,Social & Behavioral Sciences,History,Philosophy
            internal colonialism,“figure of the third,”,allosemitism,borderline figure,beautiful Jewess

            References

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