The Ridiculous Jew: The Exploitation and Transformation of a Stereotype in Gogol, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky

The Ridiculous Jew: The Exploitation and Transformation of a Stereotype in Gogol, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky

The Ridiculous Jew: The Exploitation and Transformation of a Stereotype in Gogol, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky

The Ridiculous Jew: The Exploitation and Transformation of a Stereotype in Gogol, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky

Synopsis

This book is a study devoted to exploring the use of a Russian version of the Jewish stereotype (the ridiculous Jew) in the works of three of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century. Rosenshield does not attempt to expose the stereotype- which was self-consciously and unashamedly employed. Rather, he examines how stereotypes are used to further the very different artistic, cultural, and ideological agendas of each writer. What distinguishes this book from others is that it explores the problems that arise when an ethnic stereotype is so fully incorporated into a work of art that it takes on a life of its own, often undermining the intentions of its author as well as many of the defining elements of the stereotype itself. With each these writers, the Jewish stereotype precipitates a literary transformation, taking their work into an uncomfortable space for the author and a challenging one for readers.
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