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New Perspectives on the Haskalah$
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Shmuel Feiner, David Sorkin, and Shmuel Feiner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774617

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774617.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Reality and its Refraction in Descriptions of Women in Haskalah Fiction

Reality and its Refraction in Descriptions of Women in Haskalah Fiction

(p.144) Nine Reality and its Refraction in Descriptions of Women in Haskalah Fiction
New Perspectives on the Haskalah

Tova Cohen

Liverpool University Press

This chapter analyses the depiction of women in nineteenth-century Haskalah literature, demonstrating just how gender-specific this was. Haskalah literature was written by men for a male audience, and the maskilim were taken by surprise when women readers and writers began to appear in the 1860s. The chapter then outlines two extremes of the literary image of women. On the one hand is the idealized depiction of the goddess or angel. On the other hand is the critical depiction of the insensitive, crass, and domineering woman. Both of these images derive from literary conventions. The chapter examines the interplay of these conventions with the social experience and social agenda of the maskilim.

Keywords:   women, Haskalah literature, maskilim, women readers, women writers, goddess, domineering woman, literary conventions

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