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Mixed FeelingsTropes of Love in German Jewish Culture$
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Katja Garloff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704963

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704963.001.0001

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Toward the Present and the Future

Toward the Present and the Future

Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, Barbara Honigmann

(p.171) Conclusion Toward the Present and the Future
Mixed Feelings

Katja Garloff

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows that even Scholem's “Jews and Germans,” despite its explicit rejection of the past Jewish love for things German, relies on tropes of love to conjure the possibility of a future German-Jewish dialogue. Another famous German Jewish thinker, Hannah Arendt, is more outspoken in her valorization of love as a mode of sociopolitical intervention. In her biography of a Jewish salonnière of the Romantic era, Rahel Levin Varnhagen, Arendt affirms the love of the pariah as a form of solidarity that is rooted in shared experiences of marginalization. Finally, the chapter turns to the decade after the 1990 unification of Germany, when the theme of interreligious or intercultural love enjoyed much popularity both in mainstream feature films and in contemporary German Jewish writers. Barbara Honigmann, for instance, dramatizes failing Jewish-Gentile love affairs to show how memories of the Third Reich continue to disrupt German-Jewish relations in the present. But this is not a negation of love as a trope of interreligious or intercultural mediation. Love remains an important trope in Honigmann, one that allows her to imagine a new kind of German Jewish diaspora.

Keywords:   Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, Barbara Honigmann, Jews, Germans, Jewish love, Jewish-Gentile love affairs

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