Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Studies of the Simon Dubnow Institute, Volume 13

Susanne Zepp:

Herkunft und Textkultur.

Über jüdische Erfahrungswelten in romanischen Literaturen 1499–1627



223 pp. with 2 illustrations
Hardcover with dust jacket
Göttingen/Oakville, Conn.: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010
ISBN 978-3-525-36991-3
Price: 45,00 € (D)
ISBN 978-3-647-36991-4 (e-book)
Price: 37,99 € (D)





Volume 13 of the Schriftenreihe is a literary study on the contribution of Jewish culture to the process of the formation and shaping of modernity in the Romance-language cultures. It focuses on an analysis of five basic texts written between 1499 and 1627. The intrinsic features of these texts have previously been interpreted in the terms of the origin and sense of affiliation of their authors: Jewish, »neo-Christian«  or Marrano: La Celestina, the Dialoghi d’amore of Leone Ebreo, the first picaresque novel, Lazarillo de Tormes, the Essais of Michel de Montaigne and the poeticizing versions of biblical texts by João Pinto Delgado.


Susanne Zepp explores the changes in genres and the literary works of that period against the backdrop of the history of the sixteenth century. Of particular interest are the differing articulations of the specific individual in the modern age. In each of the examples investigated, that is represented in a specific way, but always in its confrontation with Scripture and the sacred sphere. It shows that from the perspective of literary analysis, the genesis of the early modern consciousness of the subject can also be explained as a universalizing of Jewish experiences that were originally particularistic in nature.