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Broadening Jewish History$
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Todd M. Endelman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113010

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113010.001.0001

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Memories of Jewishness

Memories of Jewishness

Chapter:
(p.315) Chapter Fourteen Memories of Jewishness
Source:
Broadening Jewish History
Author(s):

Todd M. Endelman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113010.003.0015

This chapter looks at Marcel Proust's epic, a multi-volume novel titled In Search of Lost Time, where a distinguished member of the Jockey Club named Charles Swann is regarded as a Jew before the Dreyfus affair erupted and heightened the Jew-consciousness. It explains why Marcel and others in the aristocratic world of the Faubourg Saint-Germain regarded Swann as a Jew, who saw himself in a similar light towards the end of his life. It also explores why the lines demarcating Jews from Christians became blurred between the French Revolution and the Second World War and how this blurring affected Jews who had converted to Christianity. The chapter refers to Jews in medieval and early modern Europe, with the exception of Iberian Conversos, who were not troubled by issues of collective identity. It recounts how Jews exchanged one well-defined legal and cultural status for another when they rejected Judaism and became Christians.

Keywords:   Marcel Proust, Charles Swann, Dreyfus affair, Jew-consciousness, Christianity, Judaism

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