Catalogue

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Constructions of "the Jew" in English literature and society [electronic resource] : racial representations, 1875-1945 /
Bryan Cheyette.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.
description
xvi, 301 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0521443555
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.
isbn
0521443555
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8359208
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 276-292) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-07:
This is an examination of "racism" and in particular "antisemitism" in literary representation at the "heart of domestic liberalism." Less focused on such overtly prejudiced writers as Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, Cheyette (Univ. of London) concentrates on Matthew Arnold, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, John Buchan, Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and others. The conclusion brings D.H. Lawrence, G. Greene, and Charles Williams into the argument "that the racial construction of 'the Jew' in English literature and society is far from being a fixed, mythic stereotype as is commonly thought." Only George Eliot and James Joyce emerge relatively unscathed from Cheyette's thorough analysis. References to Foucault, de Man, Homi Bhabha, and others do not make for easy reading. Informative notation is found at the foot of the printed page. The extensive bibliography of published and unpublished materials omits useful critical articles in magazines such as The Jewish Quarterly. In spite of this caveat, Cheyette's study is a must for all Victorian and modernist collections and those encompassing responses to minorities. General audiences, upper-division undergraduates, and above. W. Baker; Northern Illinois University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...an articulate, comprehensive, scholarly examination....Replete with judicious close readings and detailed social and cultural contextualizations of the literary texts, and with an exhaustive bibliography, Cheyette's study is intellectual history at its best....[A] well-conceived, well-executed, eminently readable study." Brian W. Shaffer, English Literature in Transition
'A new, ground-breaking study ... a new way of reading the image of 'the Jew' in British high culture as well as Jewish high culture in Britain, and the author and Cambridge University Press are both to be commended for it.' Sander L. Gilman, Jewish Quarterly.
'A new, ground-breaking study ... a new way of reading the image of 'the Jew' in British high culture as well as Jewish high culture in Britain, and the author and Cambridge University Press are both to be commended for it.'Sander L. Gilman, Jewish Quarterly.
‘A new, ground-breaking study ... a new way of reading the image of ‘the Jew’ in British high culture as well as Jewish high culture in Britain, and the author and Cambridge University Press are both to be commended for it.’Sander L. Gilman, Jewish Quarterly.
'At the heart of Constructions of 'the Jew' is the admirable attempt to locate concerns of 'race' not at the margins of English literature, but at its very centre ... Cheyette brings together issues connected with 'race', culture, history and writing in a fascinating way ... This is analysis at the cutting edge of the interface between literature and politics.' Max Silverman, New Statesman & Society
'At the heart of Constructions of 'the Jew' is the admirable attempt to locate concerns of 'race' not at the margins of English literature, but at its very centre ... Cheyette brings together issues connected with 'race', culture, history and writing in a fascinating way ... This is analysis at the cutting edge of the interface between literature and politics.'Max Silverman, New Statesman & Society
‘At the heart of Constructions of ‘the Jew’ is the admirable attempt to locate concerns of ‘race’ not at the margins of English literature, but at its very centre ... Cheyette brings together issues connected with ‘race’, culture, history and writing in a fascinating way … This is analysis at the cutting edge of the interface between literature and politics.’Max Silverman, New Statesman & Society
"Bryan Cheyette...has dug deep into the literature of the period, and come up with some choice exhibits; he is also good at teasing out the inconsistencies and moral contortions which so often lie behind them." The Times Literary Supplement
"By connecting discourse about Jews with various debates about cultural ends and values, Cheyette successfully makes a theme that usually gets dismissed as a marginal, extraliterary problem seem central and constitutive." Jonathan Linsberg, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
"...Cheyette considers a wide range of authors to establish the centrality of racial issues in the formation of English identity. He illustrates his argument with thorough and carefully documented discussions on the texts...." Naomi Sokoloff, Religious Studies Review
'Cheyette gives a scrupulous account of the much-discussed anti-Semitic representations in Eliot's poetry.' Patrick Parrinder, London Review of Books
'Cheyette gives a scrupulous account of the much-discussed anti-Semitic representations in Eliot's poetry.'Patrick Parrinder, London Review of Books
‘Cheyette gives a scrupulous account of the much-discussed anti-Semitic representations in Eliot’s poetry.’Patrick Parrinder, London Review of Books
"Cheyette has read widely. I doubt if many disobliging remarks about Jews have escaped his attention. He drags into daylight the nastiest aspects of many admired writers." Sunday Telegraph
"His book is a new way of reading the image of 'the Jew' in British high culture as well as Jewish high culture in Britain, and the author and Cambridge University Press are both to be commended for it." Jewish Quarterly
"...perhaps the most comprehensive work of its type thus far....an important book. By way of his concerted effort to demonstrate the deconstructive nature of 'Semitic discourse,' Cheyette evinces just how 'Jew obsessed' both Britain and Europe had become by the late-Victorian era." Neil R. Davison, James Joyce Quarterly
'Rather than poetic licence, Cheyette relies on impressive scholarship to see well beyond the usual stereotypes of the anti-Semitic writer.' Clive Sinclair, Jewish Chronicle
'Rather than poetic licence, Cheyette relies on impressive scholarship to see well beyond the usual stereotypes of the anti-Semitic writer.'Clive Sinclair, Jewish Chronicle
‘Rather than poetic licence, Cheyette relies on impressive scholarship to see well beyond the usual stereotypes of the anti-Semitic writer.’Clive Sinclair, Jewish Chronicle
"The overall impression Cheyette gives is of patience, persistence and refusal to oversimplify a fraught and often painful subject, and to do justice to his complex and intricate argument it is necessary to get to grips with its detail." Patrick Parrinder, London Review of Books
"[This] is decidedly not another book about Jewish stereotypes. Nor is it simply concerned with exposing the anti-Semitic strains within English literature from 1875-1945. in fact, it is more historical, more subtle, and certainly more revealing, than either one of these two approaches would have been. It is really a book about attempts to formulate a new vision of Englishness in the modern period. Representations of 'the Jew', in Cheyette's terms, are the site par excellence on which this vision is played out....Cheyette brings together issues connected with 'race,' culture, history and writing in a fascinating way, breaking down the autonomy of each to reveal the constant interconnections. This is analysis at the cutting edge of the interface between literature and politics." Max Silverman, New Statesman and Society
'To read this book is to be reminded that even the stalest dust can still be noxious.' Frederic Raphael, Spectator
'To read this book is to be reminded that even the stalest dust can still be noxious.'Frederic Raphael, Spectator
‘To read this book is to be reminded that even the stalest dust can still be noxious.’Frederic Raphael, Spectator
"What makes Bryan Cheyette's account of the literary expression of this racial prejudice so chilling is his evidence that across the whole spectrum of political opinion, the image of Jews changed to suit the convictions and anxieties of those observing them." Guardian
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1994
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Bryan Cheyette combines cultural theory, discourse analysis and new historicism with close readings of work by a wide range of nineteenth and twentieth-century authors to argue that 'the Jew' lies at the heart of modern English society: not as a stereotype, but as the embodiment of confusion and indeterminacy.
Main Description
Bryan Cheyette combines cultural theory, discourse analysis, and new historicism with close readings of work by Arnold, Trollope and George Eliot, Buchan and Kipling, Shaw and Wells, Belloc and Chesterton, T. S. Eliot and James Joyce, to argue that 'the Jew' lies at the heart of modern English society: not as a stereotype, but as the embodiment of confusion and indeterminacy.
Main Description
Literary critics and cultural historians have for too long written the question of race out of mainstream accounts of English literature. In Constructions of "the Jew" in English Literature and Society Bryan Cheyette combines cultural theory, discourse analysis and new historicism with close readings of works by Arnold, Trollope and George Eliot, Buchan and Kipling, Shaw and Wells, Belloc and Chesterton, T. S. Eliot and Joyce to argue that the Jew lies at the heart of modern English literature and society: not as a stereotype, but as the embodiment of confusion and indeterminacy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: semitism and the cultural realm
The promised land of liberalism: Matthew Arnold, Anthony Trollope and George Eliot
Empire and anarchy
The 'socialism of fools'
The limits of liberalism
Modernism and ambivalence
Conclusion: semitism and the crisis of representation
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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