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Vienna is Different

Vienna is Different: Jewish Writers in Austria from the Fin-de-Siecle to the Present

Hillary Hope Herzog
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 298
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  • Book Info
    Vienna is Different
    Book Description:

    Assessing the impact offin-de-siecleJewish culture on subsequent developments in literature and culture, this book is the first to consider the historical trajectory of Austrian-Jewish writing across the20thcentury. It examines how Vienna, the city that stood at the center of Jewish life in the Austrian Empire and later the Austrian nation, assumed a special significance in the imaginations of Jewish writers as a space and an idea. The author focuses on the special relationship between Austrian-Jewish writers and the city to reveal a century-long pattern of living in tension with the city, experiencing simultaneously acceptance and exclusion, feeling "unheimlichheimisch"(eerily at home) in Vienna.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-182-8
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-9)

    Wien ist anders” (Vienna is different). This bold proclamation formed the centerpiece of an advertising campaign that emerged in the 1990s to promote tourism in the city of Vienna. The motto appeared on posters throughout the city, juxtaposed with familiar images of the city traditionally marketed to tourists: the golden Strauss statue, the Hofburg, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Lippizaners, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. The effect of the images was to transport the viewer back to the days of Habsburg rule, to conjure up images of the city that were the most familiar and cherished—Vienna at the turn of...

  5. Chapter 1 The Fin de Siècle
    (pp. 10-92)

    This study of the rich tradition of Viennese Jewish literature must begin with an account of how Vienna became established as the center of Jewish life in the Habsburg Empire. Before taking up the literature as a reflection of Central European Jewish life, therefore, I want first to address how, when, and for what reasons the Jews came to Vienna, looking first at the history of Jewish migration to the city and then examining Viennese Jewish life and the particular nature of the city the Jewish immigrants encountered. The story of twentieth-century Jewish literature in Vienna thus begins in the...

  6. Chapter 2 Jewish Vienna Between the World Wars
    (pp. 93-173)

    The period between the two world wars was an exceptionally tumultuous time in modern Austrian history. The world of Austrian Jews would be profoundly changed by World War I, overturned completely by its outcome, and subsequently shaken again by the rise of the Right and the new forms of anti-Semitism that developed, first by Austria’s own authoritarian regime, then by Austro-fascism and theAnschluss. With the identity crises of the turn of the century still unsolved, Austrian Jews were plunged into still another identity crisis, which would similarly prove largely insoluble. Yet it was the very rise of anti-Semitism that...

  7. Chapter 3 Jews and the Second Republic
    (pp. 174-219)

    Vienna’s once-thriving Jewish community was decimated by the persecution that accompanied theAnschluss, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. When Austria began to reconstitute itself at the end of the war, it was not at all clear that a new Austria would offer any place for the reemergence of any reconstituted Jewish community. The immediate postwar situation was sufficiently desperate that conditions were hardly favorable for exiled Jews or survivors of the camps to return. After the immediate crisis subsided, the focus on rebuilding and the establishment of a national state consumed public attention, leaving little room for concern...

  8. Chapter 4 Viennese Jews from Waldheim to Haider and Beyond
    (pp. 220-270)

    Two events in Austria’s recent history have had a decisive impact on Vienna’s Jewish community and, in a dramatically different fashion, on the nation as a whole: the 1986 election of Kurt Waldheim to president just after the disclosure of his Nazi past and the entrance of Jörg Haider’sFreiheitliche Partei Österreichs(Austrian Freedom Party) into the federal government in 2000. The Waldheim affair drew Austria reluctantly into the international limelight as the World Jewish Congress and the international press brought to light the wartime activities that Waldheim had long suppressed and, after Waldheim was elected in spite of these...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 271-273)

    My approach to each writer included in this study has taken the form of an investigation of certain central, recurring questions: In what way is this author a Jewish writer? Is there a Jewish element to this writing, and, if so, what form does it take? How does one writer’s work relate, if at all, to the works of other Austrian Jewish writers? The same set of questions, reframed in terms of the writer’s relationship not to Jewishness but to Vienna, also shaped my inquiry. The investigations produced a variety of answers. Taken as a whole, the broader inquiry into...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 274-284)
  11. Index
    (pp. 285-289)