Sunday, May 23, 2010

‘Many, too many of us, children of the Jewish intelligentsia, are madly, shamefully in love with Russian culture,’ the Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky lamented in 1903. Paradoxically, their eager embrace of ‘the Pushkin faith’ (as Slezkine calls it) made Jewish intellectuals co-creators of the icons of cultural nationalism that emerged in most Central and East European states and would-be states at the turn of the century: it wasn’t a matter just of Pushkin in Russia but of Goethe and Schiller in Germany, Petöfi in Hungary, and Mickiewicz in Polish lands.
Sheila Fitzpatrick on The Jewish Century by Yuri Slezkine, LRB 17-03-05

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