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Jewish Spain : a Mediterranean memory by Tabea Alexa Linhard

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By Tabea Alexa Linhard

What is intended by means of "Jewish Spain"? The time period itself contains a sequence of historic contradictions. No unmarried a part of Spain has ever been totally Jewish. but discourses approximately Jews knowledgeable debates on Spanish id formation lengthy after their 1492 expulsion. The Mediterranean international witnessed a renewed curiosity in Spanish-speaking Jews within the 20th century, and it has grappled with moving attitudes on what it intended to be Jewish and Spanish in the course of the century.

At the guts of this ebook are explorations of the contradictions that seem in numerous sorts of cultural reminiscence: literary texts, memoirs, oral histories, biographies, movies, and historical past tourism applications. Tabea Alexa Linhard identifies depictions of the problems Jews confronted in Spain and northern Morocco in years prior as essential to the survival options of Spanish Jews, who used them to make experience of the complicated and harrowing conditions of the Spanish Civil conflict, the Francoist repression, and global warfare Two.

Jewish Spain takes its position between different works on Muslims, Christians, and Jews via delivering a complete research of Jewish tradition and presence in twentieth-century Spain, reminding us that it truly is very unlikely to appreciate and articulate what Spain used to be, is, and may be with no taking into consideration either "Muslim Spain" and "Jewish Spain."

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Hazel Gold points out that “in the later eighteenth and nineteenth century the figure of ‘the Jew’ inhabits the principal discourses of Spanish society—theology, philosophy, philology, politics, art, literature, journalism—even though Jews are nowhere to be found within the borders of the nation” (“Illustrated Histories,” 90). Twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Spain saw many instances in which Jews and Jewish culture (for the most part perceived as absent from the Iberian Peninsula) resurfaced in cultural life and political discourse.

Although the invention of a Spanish-Moroccan brotherhood dates back to the nineteenth century (the Africanist writer Joaquín Costa articulated this notion repeatedly), it gained new momentum in the twentieth century in the wake of the 1898 “disaster” (Martin-Márquez, Disorientations, 49). This idealized but uneven brotherhood resolves some of the contradictions that mark Spanish colonialism in Morocco. ) on the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. 26 In 1859 the Spanish government faced a number of internal problems.

This “superiority” is often invoked in the 1940s and corresponds to the notion of hispanidad, an “eternal Catholic-Spanish essence,” as Rohr describes it in The Spanish Right and the Jews (4) that was a keystone of Francoist rhetoric and—this is where the contradictions lie—ironically helped to save lives. 21 Although the reasons that ultimately explain why these lives were saved are multiple and often appear to contradict each other, they are not a direct consequence of any feelings, positive or negative, Franco may have had toward the fate of Jewish people in occupied Europe.

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