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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52502
Doc. No:TL22456
Call number:‭3225498‬
Main Entry:Violet Lutz
Title & Author:Romancing the Baal Shem tov: Martin Buber's appropriation of Hasidism in his two early Hasidic books, “Die Geschichten des Rabbi Nachman” (1906) and “Die Legende des Baalschem” (1908)Violet Lutz
College:University of Pennsylvania
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:427
Abstract:Against the background of the young Martin Buber's discovery of a communal orientation in the Zionist movement, his retellings of Hasidic stories in his two early books reveal a struggle for a new Jewish self-understanding driven by an experience of alienation. The books offer bleak interpretations of exile which draw a hopeful prospect through recourse to German Romanticism. I examine the books from a literary perspective. In Chapter 2, I read three of Buber's six retellings of stories from Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, in comparison to the Yiddish source texts, showing how Buber's renderings create a new focus on a social dimension. In chapter 3, I illuminate Buber's Legende des Baalschem [Legend of the Baal Shem], as a cohesive literary composition which strives to engage the reader from a mood of existential isolation, toward an elusive goal of social connectedness. In close readings I compare Buber's story "Die Offenbarung" [The Revelation] to traditional legends about the 'revelation' of Israel ben Eliezer as baal shem and zaddik; and I compare Buber's story "Die Predigt des neuen Jahres" [The Sermon of the New Year] to his own new retelling of the same story in his mature anthology The Tales of the Hasidim. The foregrounding of the exilic condition in the earlier story gives way in the later version to an appreciation of oblique communal connectedness. In chapter 4, I trace the evolution of Buber's ideas about Jewish exilic history in his cultural Zionist essays, from 1901 to 1905. Finally, chapter 5 provides close readings of three works by Arnold Zweig, as an example of a literary reception of Buber's ideas about Jewish renewal. Zweig's exposition in his two plays, Die Sendung Semaels (originally Ritualmord in Ungarn) and Die Umkehr (based on a story by Buber), as well as in his travel essay Das ostjüdische Antlitz, leads to a radical social utopianism with nihilistic overtones.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Buber, Martin; Cultural Zionism; Geschichten des Rabbi Nachman; Hasidism; Legende des Ballschem; Germanic literature; Folklore; 0311:Germanic literature; 0358:Folklore
Added Entry:L. Weissberg
Added Entry:University of Pennsylvania