Next Year in Marienbad: The Lost Worlds of Jewish Spa Culture

By Mirjam Zadoff; William Templer | Go to book overview

Introduction
The (Mirrored) Playroom

Departing for Paradise

But oh, Kitty! Now we come to the passage. You can just see
a little peep of the passage in Looking-glass House, if you
leave the door of our drawing-room open: and it’s very like
our passage as far as you can see, only you know it may be
quite different on beyond.

—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What
                                       Alice Found There
(1872)1

“So Isaac lay and looked at the firmament. And since the stars that illuminate the sea are the same stars that illuminate the land, he looked at them, and thought of his hometown, for it is the way of the stars to lead the thoughts of a person as they are wont.”2 After setting out for Eretz Israel, Isaac Kummer had spent many days and nights in crowded trains that had carried him westward from his town in Galicia: through Lemberg, Tarnow, Cracow, and Vienna to Trieste.3 Now he was lying alone on the deck of the ship readied to depart the next morning for Jaffa. He thought of his family and friends back in Galicia. A sense of bitterness entered his mind as he thought of the Zionists back in his hometown. Of course, many liked to talk about Palestine, but they never journeyed any further than their regular summer trip to a European spa: “They’ll give you prooftexts from the Talmud that the air of the Land of Israel is healing, but when they travel for their health, they go to Karlsbad and other places outside the Land of Israel.”4 In his novel Only Yesterday, the classic Israeli writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon narrates the life of a young Zionist from Galicia who leaves Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century as part of the Second Aliyah to Palestine.5 About the same time elsewhere in Eastern Europe, in the world

-1-

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Next Year in Marienbad: The Lost Worlds of Jewish Spa Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Jewish Culture and Contexts ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction- The (Mirrored) Playroom 1
  • Part 1- Be’Era Shel Miryam 11
  • Chapter 1 - A Letter 13
  • Chapter 2 - Consuming Places 17
  • Chapter 3 - In a Large Garden of Modernity 32
  • Chapter 4 - Bourgeois Experiential Spaces of Worry and Concern 49
  • Part II - Beit Dimyoni 67
  • Chapter 5 - A Conversation 69
  • Chapter 6 - Miscounters 76
  • Chapter 7 - Encounters 106
  • Part III - Odradek 135
  • Chapter 8 - A Story 137
  • Chapter 9 - The City in the Hills 141
  • Chapter 10 - Warmbod Grotesques 157
  • Part IV - Jutopia 177
  • Chapter 11 - A Map 179
  • Chapter 12 - Traveling to Bohemia 182
  • Chapter 13 - To Bohemia and beyond 197
  • Afterword Return to Bohemia 219
  • Abbreviations 225
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 265
  • Index 295
  • Acknowledgments 303
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