Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

toldot, Volume 4 (2009)

Susanne Zepp/Natasha Gordinsky:

Kanon und Diskurs.

Über Literarisierung jüdischer Erfahrungswelten


With a foreword by Dan Diner



120 pp., paperback

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009

ISBN 978-3-525-35093-5

Price: 27,00 € (D)







The writing of literary history is closely bound up with the emergence of the modern national states, an »invented« narrowing that was brought to a catastrophic head within the twentieth century and whose validity today is increasingly fading. In the case of the historiography of Jewish literature(s), it was always necessary, due to the transnational, diasporic life worlds of the Jews, to do proper justice to an ensemble of different symbolic and linguistic spaces and diverse conceptions of space and time.


Susanne Zepp and Natasha Gordinsky interpret texts of contemporary literature – including inter alia writings by Yoel Hoffmann and Ljudmila Ulitzkaja – which grasp the complexity of Jewish belonging within a literary frame. Literature is understood as discourse, not as canon, and thus as a medium that renders national, religious and cultural boundary lines porous and permeable.