Title

Facing East: Orientalism and Antisemitism in Heine's Hebräische Melodien

Abstract

The oriental imaginary of Heinrich Heine’s cycle, Hebräische Melodien (1851), borrows and diverges from European orientalism and its German Jewish counterpart, sephardism. In departing from these traditions, Heine launches a critique of both discourses and highlights their shared assertion of Western superiority. His recreation of the Sephardic past attacks the ideologies perpetuated by literary and historiographical treatments of the Orient. Directed against German Jewish orientalism and its idealization of Andalusi Jewish experience, Hebräische Melodien features complex, ambivalent portrayals of Sephardim and their Muslim neighbours. Heine’s Muslims reflect their shared history with Jews as Europe’s oriental others but also perpetrate violence against Jews. The cycle’s depictions of antisemitism in a poetic Orient serve to expose the lethal consequences of orientalism’s cultural hierarchy.

Publisher

University of Toronto Press, Journals Division

Publication Date

2-1-2020

Publication Title

Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies

Department

German

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.3138/seminar.56.1.4

Keywords

Antisemitism, German Jews, Hebräische Melodien, Heinrich Heine, Muslims, Orientalism, Sephardim, Sephardism

Language

English

Format

text

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