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No Fairy Tale: German Zionism and the Politics of Literature

January 23, 2023 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Emerging Scholars Lecture with Joshua Shelly, Carolina-Duke German Program.

In 1902, the father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, published the German novel Altneuland (The Old-New Land). In the work, he depicted a future, model Jewish society in what was then Ottoman Palestine. Emblazoned on its title page, Herzl declared: “If you wish it, it is no fairy tale!” The phrase would soon become a key motto of the Zionist movement, and a few years later, the Hebrew title of the translated novel — Tel Aviv — would become the name of a newly erected city on the shores of the Mediterranean. Taking these events and their connection to a literary work seriously, this talk examines the vital role of German Jewish literature in early Zionism and the founding of the Jewish State.

Remote event via Zoom. Registration required. Zoom link will be sent to registrants 24 hours prior to the event. Register here.

Co-sponsored by the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures and Carolina-Duke German studies.