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A Literary Perspective on Schenker's Jewishness

A Literary Perspective on Schenker's Jewishness ABSTRACT Heinrich Schenker was a keen observer of and participant in the cultural life of his time. In his diary he diligently recorded his impressions about a wide variety of cultural events, and recent scholarship has recognised the impact of his cultural environment on his theoretical work. This essay explores Schenker's views about his Jewishness as they become apparent in his response to several literary texts. Following an examination of his comments on Jews and Jewishness, I discuss three entries on literary works with a Jewish subject: Karl Kraus's poem ‘Gebet an die Sonne von Gibeon’, John Galsworthy's play Loyalties and Sholem Asch's story ‘Der reiche Herr Salomon’. Schenker's ‘literary criticism’ exemplifies three principal Jewish concerns in his thinking: the biblical foundation of Judaism, the relationship between Jews and the people among whom they live and the Jew as an exemplary human being. Critiquing these texts allowed Schenker to highlight the characteristics of the Jews as a people and as individuals, Jewish monotheism, the Jews’ predisposition to studying and thinking and their philanthropic attitude. Most important, the Jews who appear in these texts reinforced his own positioning as a Jew and a professional in a non‐Jewish environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

A Literary Perspective on Schenker's Jewishness

Music Analysis , Volume 34 (2) – Jul 1, 2015

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Heinrich Schenker was a keen observer of and participant in the cultural life of his time. In his diary he diligently recorded his impressions about a wide variety of cultural events, and recent scholarship has recognised the impact of his cultural environment on his theoretical work. This essay explores Schenker's views about his Jewishness as they become apparent in his response to several literary texts. Following an examination of his comments on Jews and Jewishness, I discuss three entries on literary works with a Jewish subject: Karl Kraus's poem ‘Gebet an die Sonne von Gibeon’, John Galsworthy's play Loyalties and Sholem Asch's story ‘Der reiche Herr Salomon’. Schenker's ‘literary criticism’ exemplifies three principal Jewish concerns in his thinking: the biblical foundation of Judaism, the relationship between Jews and the people among whom they live and the Jew as an exemplary human being. Critiquing these texts allowed Schenker to highlight the characteristics of the Jews as a people and as individuals, Jewish monotheism, the Jews’ predisposition to studying and thinking and their philanthropic attitude. Most important, the Jews who appear in these texts reinforced his own positioning as a Jew and a professional in a non‐Jewish environment.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2015

References