Ethnicity and gender in Else Lasker-Schuler's "Oriental" stories: "Der Amoklaufer" ("Tschandragupta") and "Ached Bey".
In her two prose works Die Nachte Tino von Bagdads (The Nights of Tino of Baghdad, 1907) and Der Prinz von Theben (The Prince of Thebes, 1914) Else Lasker-Schuler thematizes the connection of ethnicity, gender, and art in an imaginary Oriental setting. Her stories are marked by a high degree of intertextuality and allusion, play and disguise, as well as an irony that is at times playful or painful. While these characteristics complicate any interpretation of the texts, they also create the unique tone that characterizes her prose.
Recent scholarship, in particular studies by Atterholt, Berman, Hedgepeth, Heizer, O'Brien, and Redmann, has read Lasker-Schuler's oeuvre both as an investigation of representations of gender, especially femininity, and as a contribution to a Jewish minority discourse. My argument proceeds from these presuppositions. With an eye toward the stories "Der Amoklaufer" (The Madman, 1910) and "Ached Bey" (1907), I examine the overlap of ethnicity and gender: to what extent does Lasker-Schuler probe images of Jewish femininity and what can we conclude from this with regard to her views on art? (1) Common to both stories--indeed a frequent configuration in Lasker-Schuler's texts--is a narrated world initially dominated by a father figure. He represents a patriarchal order whose limit(ation)s are dissolved when a female figure within the father's "domain" is conjoined with a "foreigner" from a different culture.
At first glance, "Der Amoklaufer" seems to be a straightforward story: Tschandragupta, a heathen king, feels a longing for the Jews ("Sehnsucht nach den Juden," 129); he visits them and wants to make a sacrifice to Jehovah, but is hindered by the high priest. As a result, the foreigner goes berserk and only stops when Schlome, the daughter of the high priest, becomes one of his victims. On closer inspection, however, the situation becomes more confusing. Tschandragupta is not just a "heathen": son of a Jewish mother, he is also a Jew, and while some hail him as an "angel," others condemn him as "Schaitan" (129), the Arab word for devil. Schlome, in turn, is not just his victim, but also the driving force of the events, and ultimately her death seems not only a demise, but also the fulfillment she has wished for. As in many of her narratives, Lasker-Schuler here creates ambiguities by changing configurations, overlaying oppositions, and neglecting the characters' motivation. Questions that then arise are: Whose point of view is this? Is there even a unified narrative point of view? This confusing game with oppositions is joined by a host of intertextual references. The theme of the story, however, remains relatively insignificant; of central importance is her concern with stereotypes that combine antisemitism and sexual phantasies in a number of intertexts. (2)
Thus the name of the female protagonist refers to the Salome tradition: "Schlome" is historically a hybrid reconstruction of "Salome" (3) as is the configuration of the three characters: the opposition between the holy stranger ("heiliger Fremdling," 129), on the one hand, and the threatened leader of the Jews (the father figure) and his daughter, on the other. Furthermore, Salome's eroticism and passionate dancing play a key role in Lasker-Schuler's story. In fact, Schlome appears three times in an erotic pose: first before Jehovah; then before the people, showing them her unveiled face for the first time (131) and goading them to revolt against the high priest; and finally approaching, "smilingly, ever closer to the deadly kiss" (132)--another characteristic detail of the Salome tradition.
The most obvious departure is the conclusion of the story: the foreigner does not fall victim to the Salome figure, nor is she punished. The couple, by way of its union, becomes instead one figure whose aggression is directed, successfully, against the father figure and his order. Even this, however, could be related to the Salome tradition, which includes the dethronement of Herod by Herodias/Salome. Since the Middle Ages Salome has embodied the identification of the desiring woman with the wandering Jewess, the female counterpart to Ahasver. This association of antisemitism and antifeminism surfaces again in many treatments around 1900, right up to the equation of the Jewish woman with the femme fatale.
This tradition is adapted and undone by Lasker-Schuler in "Der Amoklaufer." Nor is she alone here: she can look back to other famous variations like those of Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert, Friedrich Hebbel, or especially the reinterpretation by Heinrich Heine, who was held in high regard by Lasker-Schuler's parents. (4) Heine attached particular importance to the "heathen sensuality" of the "eternal Jewess" Herodias in Atta Troll and even made her a figure of identification for himself as the Jew in exile.
In Heine, and even more in Wilde, the "holy stranger" is also a penitent and ascetic who anxiously rejects the beauty, lust, and passion associated with "woman." Lasker-Schuler intensifies this model as the opposition between the longing for Jehovah and the erotic desire released at the end. The latter is first awakened in Schlome and the women of the city under clearly "heathen" premises that point to India: the name "Tschandragupta" invokes the Indian Gupta dynasty. (5) And in a brief surreal passage with parodic overtones, the foreigner is likened to an erotic figure in the Hindi Pantheon: "Limbs had grown from the limbs of his limbs, which were entwined in desire, like the many-armed idols of his homeland" (130). Those "idols" soon enter the city in the form of "forbidden games" and "little heathen love gods," setting free among the women an erotic desire that culminates in the union of Schlome with Tschandragupta.
Such a distinct syncretism in treatments of the Salome story can only be found in Heine, who linked Herodias with the ancient Diana and the nordic Abunde. But he left it as a trio under the leadership of the Jewess. Lasker-Schuler's syncretism, with its St. John figure and an Indian ruler and/or deity, goes beyond this. This notable "Indian" dimension reflects back on the woman: her erotic exposure in the dance and her sacrifice to her lover, with its religious connotations, evoke the bayadere, the female figure who is central to the German reception of Indian culture. It also recalls the connection between Orientalism and Expressionist dance around 1900.
The ending of "Der Amoklaufer," however, negates the traditional affirmative representation of female sacrifice and the "beautiful corpse": it is only the high priest's rejection of both the foreigner and of Schlome's wishes that leads to the monstrous Day of Atonement where people instead of lambs are sacrificed? This explains why the union of Tschandragupta and Schlome is not what it seems at first: heathen barbarism or a betrayal of the Jewish tradition. At this point the diegesis seems to coincide for the first time with the actions and wishes of the woman. The sexual union of the protagonists is given a religious solemnity in the themes of the Song of Solomon and Lasker-Schuler's Zebaoth poems: "Over the names of the savage fathers imprinted in heathen signs and images on Tschandragupta's flesh runs Schlome's consecrated sweetness, down his loins like rose-colored strained honey." This linking of flesh and consecration, heathendom and Judaism corresponds to Tschandragupta's desire: "Ecstatically, he carries between his teeth his last victim, her body over Jericho" (132). The union of the two is described in monstrous and sadomasochistic terms. This staging of violence, directed against the patriarchal order, can only be understood as a conscious exaggeration. The monstrous is an expression of the violence needed for their union to overcome the old order.
The destruction of this old order manifests itself as the decentering of gender roles and of religious/cultural/ethnic demarcations. The decentering of gender roles is not only inscribed in the reversal of traditional codes in the sexual act in which Schlome's initiative is emphasized. It is also apparent in Tschandragupta's transgendering ("Tschandragupta steps out of the high priest's house, in Schlome's veils, like the women of the city"), in his taking a woman's place in the temple ("behind the grille"), and above all in the slightly ironic address: "O and his character, fumbling lovingly like a woman carrying a child" (132). This is not just a reversal of gender roles. Tschandragupta and the incorporated Schlome embody a third gender, a hybrid that defies conventional oppositions: "No one hinders the change in Meleh's grandson. Not even the high priest ["der tempelalte Knecht"] in his greying ceremonial robe" (132). (7)
As the gender opposition is dissolved, so is the opposition of heathendom and piety, of idolatry and monotheism. The Hindu god figure--erotically charged and coded as male--sits with the women in the temple, a madman is pregnant with his last victim as if to re-create it, a killer whose prayers among the believers sound like the "gentle cooing of a dove" (132) but bring a chill to the women around him.
The fact that this character is called "Meleh's grandson" at the end reminds us that Tschandragupta was clearly made "foreign" from the beginning although he embodies a blend, syncretism, a hybrid. Tschandragupta is "Meleh's grandson," offspring of a Jewish king, through his mother, Meleh's daughter. His "longing for the Jews," which leads to the union with Schlome, originates with a Jewish woman who once desired Tschandragupta's father ("She lures him over the sea") and followed him to "his heathen land" in secrecy. Schlome and Tschandragupta thus repeat a transgression of cultural and religious borders that had happened before, but was condemned, forgotten, and repressed ("son of the apostate woman," 129). These transgressions are not about changing a cultural identity or assimilating the other. Both characters, Tschandragupta as well as Schlome, feel alienated and thus depart from their respective cultural origins. The alterity embodied in Tschandragupta/Schlome is not ultimately integrated: it remains as a challenge to the religiously based "Jewish" order.
Lasker-Schuler works with antisemitic stereotypes not only in the figure of Schlome, but also in her representation of the male characters, the high priest, and Tschandragupta. Tschandragupta covers the hill of Jehovah's temple with gold and embosses "a living piece of his neck like the most precious coin of the Jewish land and lays the breathing gold to that which has burned out" (131). It is obvious that Tschandragupta is not interested in the material value of gold won through laborious effort (130). He wants to glorify the Temple Mount. The "breathing gold" should be understood as a symbolic self-sacrifice with a religious motivation. The people do not think of the material value of the gold, either. Seeing the "shining hill," they shout: "The sun has fallen from the heavens!" and take it as a religious sign. Schlome reacts in similar fashion and asks her father to fulfill "the pious wish" (131) of the young man. The high priest, however, rejects both the sacrifice as well as the people's interpretation of it and his daughter's wish. The "hardhearted heart of the priest" (130) will not be moved. However, he wants the gold to be collected so carefully that "not a grain is lost" (131). This is striking because he had not paid any attention to previous offerings. The order seems to be taken literally: every particle of gold is collected. What is lost, however, is "the living coin of golden flesh and blood," which is what Tschandragupta and the narrator consider the true value, the actual meaning of the sacrificial act. If the high priest reduces the offering to its material value, which is indicated by his instruction to pick up the gold very carefully, we can relate this theme and its representation to two possible intertexts that are both associated with antisemitism.
First, the exchange of live flesh for dead matter recalls tales about a pact with the devil such as the tales of the "cold heart." The "hardhearted heart" might be a conscious allusion to this motif. The protagonist in these tales gives his heart or soul in exchange for material wealth, which turns out to be a kind of living death. The "devil" is, in fact, named in "Der Amoklaufer" when the seer of the Jews calls Tschandragupta "Schaitan." This has to be seen, however, as a characterization that is undermined by the narrator: driven by a religious desire, the foreigner does not fall for appearances like the protagonists of those devil's pact tales who always represent aspects of evil. The real "Schaitan" in terms of Lasker-Schuler's use of the tradition is not the foreigner, but the high priest who exchanges the living, spiritual gold for its material value. Such a link between the subject of the devil's pact and the stereotype of the avaricious Jew is not new. It is striking, however, that Lasker-Schuler pointedly directs it toward the figure of the high priest, who eventually appears as the loser, much like the figure of the devil in the literary tradition.
A possibly more prominent intertext is the story of Shylock. Lasker-Schuler alludes to the "haggling Jew" not only with the exchange of living flesh for gold/money, but also with a Jewish father who wants to prohibit the relationship between his daughter and a heathen "foreigner." Both strands of the plot are part of the Shylock theme, and the high priest of "Der Amoklaufer" indeed has features of a Shylock figure. Of course he is not a profiteer who insists on getting his pound of human flesh: Lasker-Schuler's high priest favors gold over flesh. This difference, however, is deceptive; a closer look reveals basic similarities. In Lasker-Schuler live flesh is also entrusted to the Jewish character; here, too, the Jew performs an inhuman exchange after a literal interpretation of an agreement; similarly, a supposedly impassable cultural/religious border must be maintained. And like Shylock, the high priest will lose his daughter over the exchange of human flesh for gold/money, only to find himself completely isolated at the end. Lasker-Schuler's portrayal of the Jewish father and high priest as a Shylock figure could not be more malicious.
However, this use of antisemitic stereotypes in characterizing her own people is not unique in Lasker-Schuler. At the beginning of her essay "Der Antisemitismus" (Antisemitism), written in 1939 in Jerusalem, she employs the metaphors of "heart of stone" ("Steinherz") and "mercenary soul" ("Geldseele") again:
I consider antisemitism a legacy passed on from father to son. A bequest with which the heir only rarely knows how to deal. Instead of destroying the worthless, false treasure that was bequeathed to him and threatens to impoverish his mind and soul, he is at pains to keep it in the strong-room of his heart, so that he can occasionally spend it lavishly. That is how the devilish thalers of the inherited wealth lead their owner to bankruptcy of the soul. As usual, every coin is passed down from parents or the nation--with a spiteful grimace (68).
Lasker-Schuler goes on to say that she was subjected to antisemitic animosity by her Christian environment during her school days. Yet the essay goes on to point out that Jews were often as bad as Christians with regard to the commandment of neighborly love: "After escaping from the manslaughter of antisemitism I am sometimes torn by the distrustful claws of my own people" (72). She draws a parallel between antisemitism and traits of her own people: both can be deadly for her, and their disregard of the commandment of neighborly love is expressed in the image of the "devilish thalers."
The depiction of the high priest in "Der Amoklaufer" is initially ambivalent. His stance toward Tschandragupta is mixed: he rejects him but holds him dear ("lieb," 131) as well. As in other material on Salome, this corresponds with Herod's behavior toward John: the leader of the Jews brings the stranger into his own home to protect him, but also to isolate him from his followers and thus to protect himself and his rule. Above all, taking a stranger into one's home in the Salome stories expresses the accused's sense that the accuser is right, that the troublemaker is a prophet, and that something presumably strange is actually part of oneself. References to stories of the devil's pact and the Shylock material serve a similar function, one by which Lasker-Schuler consciously develops antisemitic stereotypes into a self-characterization.
The representation of the antagonist Tschandragupta, also associated with antisemitic cliches, is similarly about decentering the opposition of "self" and "other." Tschandragupta is not only a "heathen," but also a Jew. More precisely, he is a highly sexualized Jewish man whose hunger leads to an excess and whose "ultimate victim" (132), Schlome, is maimed in a cannibalistic murder and rape. With this Lasker-Schuler invokes the antisemitic association of "Jewish man" and "perverse" sexuality. Around 1900, Jack the Ripper was paradigmatic as the whore killer with Jewish connotations (see Frayling, esp. 199 ff., and Gilman). It was Lasker-Schuler herself who in her letters called attention to the link between the madman (Amoklaufer) and Jack the Ripper, saying: "I am the madman, ... there is hardly anything that I have not killed in my hand, every law whenever it does not happen to suit me, and everything made for the burgher's convenience." (8)
Else Lasker-Schuler thus sometimes consciously employs antisemitic stereotypes in her writings. This is not uncommon within Jewish literature and is no sign of "Jewish self-hatred" in Lasker-Schuler. One might even explain it biographically as the result of suffering under Jewish contemporaries, those with whom she was friends and whom she admired, a circumstance that grew worse when she was in exile. My aim, however, is to describe it here as part of her literary technique. Lasker-Schuler uses antisemitic cliches and simultaneously undermines them in her deconstruction of "Jewish" and "bourgeois" orders. In particular, she draws on the potential for violence and repression contained in those stereotypes. In "Der Amoklaufer" she does this by letting Schlome refuse the sacrifice demanded by her father; instead Schlome produces a slaughter with Jack the Ripper, thus providing a parodistic, monstrous, blasphemous counter-image to the "beautiful corpse" that disempowers the old sovereign.
The configuration in "Ached Bey" is analogous to the one in "Der Amoklaufer." Here, too, a daughter comes into conflict with a rigid "paternal" law that delineates sharply between self and other, believers and non-believers, loyalty and betrayal. And here, too, an engagement with a "foreigner" destabilizes this order. The positions, however, are filled differently in this story: the father figure is a caliph, the uncle of the young princess Tino of Baghdad, so their culture is not Jewish but Arab-Muslim. Consequently, the foreigner's origin is now different, namely Jewish.
The bond of ethnicity and gender is thematized early on because the caliph is dreaming about "Naemi," the "Jewess of his youth," when the story opens. The "black Naemi rose" (73) is the leitmotif of the narrative, and one notices at once that distinct oppositions are destabilized. Unlike "Der Amoklaufer," this story has been the subject of previous scholarship. (9) My own comments will focus on a neglected aspect: the name of the Jewess in "Ached Bey," Nafimi (or Naemi (10)), refers to the famous progenitor of David. The female protagonist, however, seems to have a problematic function.
The caliph's reminiscence of Naemi leads seamlessly to the beheading of the so-called "traitors." What is more: the dreamy act of remembering the woman is thematically associated with the caliph's "big hand" (73). It is the index of his power, which can acknowledge the salute of passing caravans, authorize the execution of a death sentence, and stand metonymically for the sexual act.
Such a linking between an image of the feminine and patriarchal power exists already in Heinrich Heine's poem "Ali Bey" (1839), which Lasker-Schuler quotes here. (11) Heine also writes about an oriental tyrant who, "blessed in the arms of girls," enjoys a "foretaste of joy paradisal." Then "Ali Bey, the Faith's defender" is called to battle against the crusaders.
Wahrend er die Frankenkopfe Dutzendweis heruntersabelt, Lachelt er wie ein Verliebter, Ja, er lachelt sanft and zartlich. (12)
Loving and killing are the same thing to both rulers, to the extent that they are determined by an eroticism of domination, ownership, and power. The women in Ali Bey's realm, "Odalisks, as fair as houris," vigorously promote this vision of "paradise."
This, it seems, is initially done by Tino of Baghdad, who has been allured by the "scent of the black Naemi rose" that floats towards her. The scent draws her to the caliph's side where "unveiled" (73), as it is emphasized, she takes the place of the "Jewess of his youth." An overlaying of images follows--shared smoking of opium and shared "dreams," a shared night, and incestuous union ("My uncle's big hand flutters in my lap," 73), (13) the spectacle of an execution, and gender masquerade: accompanying the caliph to the decapitations, Tino wears "boys' clothing" and "his dagger with the emerald-inlaid hilt" (73). Heine's model of female complicity with patriarchal power is here assimilated and made more poignant. It is also made more dynamic in that Lasker-Schuler sets two opposites into motion: believers versus nonbelievers (already present in Heine), and a static image of the feminine versus an individual woman (not present in Heine).
"Naemi" thus has an ambivalent function: until the middle of the narrative she appears as an accomplice to power, annulling the foreign. She fulfills this function, however, as a static image, as a dreamy memory of the caliph in which women hold the same place that is given to Tino. Matters take a dramatic turn after the Jewish foreigner has been executed. The spurt of blood from the beheading becomes a source of inspiration for Tino of Baghdad: "I never heard a more eternal stream. It sings, like the priests of Jehovah on their feast days, like Moses's peak on Mount Sinai. / In the palace my uncle the caliph lies dead on his big hand" (73).
This shift from the caliph toward the foreigner is not a withdrawal from Naemi. On the contrary, Naemi remains a model for Tino of Baghdad, who becomes a poet. This gives "Naemi" another meaning, or rather, only now is the meaning of the "foreign," dormant in this character from the very beginning, set free. Because at the end, the Jewish foreigner, poetry, and Tino of Baghdad--alienated from her origins--come together under the auspices of Naemi. Being "foreign" is now equal to being "Jewish" and therefore a "poet." In this sense even the Arab-Muslim princess can be "Jewish," i.e., she can compose poetry whose power stems from the remembrance of murdered ancestors. That is possible only as a revolt against the order of the paternal world--precisely this is at the heart of Lasker-Schuler's reinterpretation of the biblical story.
The biblical Naemi or Naemi and her daughter-in-law Ruth exemplify the woman beholden to the legacy of the fathers in faith, trust, and love. Naemi acts in this spirit when she and Ruth return to Israel after Elimelech and her sons have died. On the one hand, she complies with the duties of the "redeemer," preventing the sale of the inherited property and redeeming Ruth's land (see Lev. 25.23-25, 47-49). On the other, she complies with the levirate that would have the deceased man's closest relative marry the widow so the deceased will have offspring and his name will not be lost for Israel (see Deut. 25.5-10). Naemi (and Ruth) thus stand for the woman who puts her life in the service of the patrilinear law, making sure "to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance" (Ruth 4.5). By complying with these laws, Naemi eventually becomes the (symbolic) progenitor of David.
Naemi's return to the land of the fathers, accompanied by the Moabite Ruth, means more, however. Elimelech's emigration has also been interpreted as an act of betrayal for which the Lord punishes him severely with the loss of his two sons (Kristeva 70). Ruth, by contrast, earns praise for letting go of her own people and joining the Jews. This shows that God's grace can apply to foreigners, too. Yet it also shows--at least it can be argued--that such religious universalism demands (conversion and) assimilation. (14)
This is at first exaggerated in Lasker-Schuler's "Ached Bey." The caliph's memory of Naemi is bound up with the complete exclusion of alterity, annihilation of the "other," and the continuation of patriarchal rule. However, after the caliph's death there is no assimilation on the part of the foreigner forsaking alterity. Rather, there is talk about the development of alien qualities. There is no center at the story's ending, only the tension between spaces and characters. The first-person narrator and successor of Naemi has features of both a Ruth figure and Princess Tino of Baghdad; and like Ruth she begins a relationship with a Jewish man. This relationship, however, is a merely symbolic one, an act of remembrance, and--unlike Ruth--Tino does not leave her people for it.
Analogously, the man who--unlike Boaz--is not in the midst of his own people is consequently called "foreigner" (Fremdling) until the end. Tino's behavior, too, belies the programmatic name Naemi--she is not "pleasant" and "lovely." She does not fulfill the function that Naemi and Ruth did by looking for the "redeemer." The redeemer and the levirate play no role, and Tino of Baghdad does not become a genealogical progenitor of Jewish history. The peacefulness that characterizes the Book of Ruth is missing completely.
The "Jewish legacy" in Lasker-Schuler is not defined by names of the fathers but rather by betraying a father figure who has built his power on the murderous exclusion of others. This disempowerment corresponds to a kind of poetry that draws on the murdered "ancestors." Among those ancestors are the static image of Naemi, the Jewish foreigner, even the caliph--not just because he is the only character in Tino's family line but also because his "lips" (74) were like those of a poet when he dreamed about Naemi. He is thus associated with the world of poetry, even if he has denied and resisted it. A literary-historical perspective is fruitful here. The caliph dreams about the Jewess of his youth, and he later encounters a Jewish foreigner whom he orders to be beheaded after hesitating several times. This suggests that the Jewish "foreigner" is the unrecognized offspring of the caliph and Naemi. (15) There is no conclusive proof for this speculation, yet the configuration bears a striking resemblance to the most famous German text about Christian-Jewish-Muslim coexistence: Lessing's Nathan the Wise (Nathan der Weise). There we find another oriental ruler, Saladin, who has captured a foreigner, the Templar, who has to face his execution. This bloodshed, however, is avoided in Lessing with the gradual recognition of kinship. Not so in Lasker-Schuler, where only the younger generation (and only the woman) realizes the familial bond after the foreigner's execution. A red thread in both texts is the question of what constitutes kinship beyond bloodlines and what prevents their acknowledgment. Lasker-Schuler's originary contribution is the daughter's necessary revolt against the violent order of the fathers. (16)
The conception of poetry sketched out in "Ached Bey" is also better understood by considering literary tradition. The first one to be identified as a Jew and a poet in the story is the foreigner, but then it is primarily Tino of Baghdad. "Pillars of fire" (74) rise out of her eyes, successors to the foreigner's "singing blood." These "pillars of fire" may recall the "letters of fire on the wall" of Heine's "Belshazzar" poem: it foretells to the ruler his impending death. (17) At this point in "Ached Bey" the caliph is already dead, but his death is connected to the singing, and together with the "pillars of fire" there appears a "gloomy cloud over Baghdad" (74)--the city where the caliph had innocent people beheaded. Yet the cloud and the "pillars of fire" that are taken as an omen by the "people" of Baghdad and the "Jewish boys and girls" are above all a reference to the biblical pillar of clouds that changes into a pillar of fire at night, showing the people of Israel the way through the desert (Exod. 13. 21f.; 14. 19; Num. 14. 14). This pillar of fire continues to be mentioned later on as a visible sign of God's presence.
Lasker-Schuler's context, however, is art, and the "pillars of fire" follow the singing of the poet (73). Lasker-Schuler is alluding to the biblical adaptation of the Orpheus legend, but in contrast to the Christian tradition the beheaded John/Orpheus character does not prefigure Christ as a revived Orpheus. It refers instead to the woman artist who will sing an anarchic song before Jehovah's temple, her "Moses's peak," in the next story ("Der Tempel Jehovah").
The "pillars of fire" thus recall Heine's famous poem "Jehuda ben Halevy" from the Hebrew Melodies. Heine's significant characterization of the Jewish model reads:
Ja, er ward ein grosser Dichter, Stern und Fackel seiner Zeit, Seines Volkes Licht and Leuchte, Eine wunderbare, grosse Feuersaule des Gesanges, Die der Schmerzenskarawane Israels vorangezogen In der Wuste des Exils (134). (19)
Heine's identification with Jehuda Halevy emphasizes the kinship of poetry and Jewishness, which is based on the split existence of each, i.e., both poet and Jew feel chosen (or marked), but this comes at the price of suffering. Such suffering is not just an effect but a feature of being a poet or being chosen. Heine presents the death of the poet as martyrdom and sacrifice, as crime and redemption. Jehuda ben Halevy is stabbed by an "impudent Saracen":
Ruhig floss das Blut des Rabbi, Ruhig seinem Sang zu Ende Sang er, and sein sterbeletzter Seufzer war Jerusalem!--(148) (20)
An old legend, however, states that "the Saracen was really / Not an evil human being / But an angel in disguise" (669). The angel is ordered to bring "God's own favorite" without torment into the realm of the blessed where upon his arrival Jehuda ben Halevy's own song ("synagogal nuptial song") is played so that it echoes: "L'khah dodi likras kallah" (670). It is the opening line of the Sabbath greeting: "Come, friend, meet the bride!" (21) The bride refers to Jerusalem as the lost and unreachable destiny signifying another reality.
Lasker-Schuler also works with the image of the loving couple, but the potential for reconciliation is even smaller here than it is in Heine. He ironizes it ("Prinzessin Sabbat") or relegates it to the legendary ("Jehuda ben Halevy"), leaving only the humiliating reality of Jewish life beyond doubt. "Der Amoklaufer" closes with a monstrous union, "Ached Bey" with an "endless dance" (74). (22) The image of the passive bride is evoked in Schlome, Naemi, and Tino, only to be revoked.
A comparison with Heine's poems suggests that Lasker-Schuler offers a variation of the link he thematizes between Judaism and poetry, chosenness and suffering, retracting the comforting aspects of the Hebrew Melodies. A comparison with the biblical tale of Naomi and Ruth almost renders Lasker-Schuler's version a contrafactum, at least if one considers the traditional analysis of their story. She transforms the family story about a widow's redemption and the messianic history of Israel into a narrative that binds any renewal to rethinking the exclusion of the--cultural and sexual--other.
If Naomi remains a point of reference, it is because she has been reevaluated as a figure who frees the dynamic of alterity instead of erasing it. (23) Lasker-Schuler is not alone in accentuating this dimension of the story of Naomi and Ruth. (24) Recently Julia Kristeva pointed out that the biblical account of the "insertion of foreignness at the root of Jewish royalty" (74) can be read in this fashion: "If David is also Ruth, if the sovereign is also a Moabite, peace of mind will then never be his lot but a constant quest for welcoming and going beyond the other in oneself" (77).
Conclusion and Contexts
In her stories, Lasker-Schuler works with representations of ethnicity, religion, and gender. She quotes familiar patterns, but subverts and decenters them through hybridizations. Her sophisticated citings of discourses integrate three literary strategies: overlapping intertextual references, the construction of a self-consciously imaginary Orient, and a narrative style with shifting or ambiguous points of view that deflect from authorial intentions and create the characteristic openness of meaning of her texts. The striking density of the intertextual references includes the Salome tradition, the work of Heine, and the biblical story of Naomi and Ruth, as well as more exotic themes like the Indian Gupta dynasty or the stuff of popular thrillers like Jack the Ripper. Previous scholarship has sometimes been too quick to believe Lasker-Schuler's self-depiction as illiterate. It is safe to assume, on the other hand, that she also picked up many things that were "in the air," because they were the subject of debate among friends or something she encountered in art exhibits, theater and circus performances, vaudeville shows and movies. In this regard it would be necessary and useful to view my analysis and the wealth of allusions with an eye toward contemporary discussions and contexts.
I want to provide a tentative map for such a project by setting these considerations, theses, and hypotheses into the framework of ongoing and still-needed discussions about the historical place of Lasker-Schuler's early works. Here it is not my intent to treat these works as all alike, but rather to broaden our view and notice their many facets. My main hypothesis is that Lasker-Schuler's defamiliarizing quotations of the discourses of gender and ethnicity signify her concern with the concrete possibilities of identification for a German-Jewish woman at the beginning of the twentieth century, which she finds problematic because they depend on modes of exclusion. For Lasker-Schuler, the renewal of Jewishness depends on revising the kind of thinking that excludes the--cultural or sexual--other. This means that Lasker-Schuler's connection to existing religious, cultural, and poetic traditions (which are, of course, evident in her early work) can be evaluated appropriately only if one is aware of their refractions. Three contemporary contexts are of particular importance in this regard: Jewish self-understanding, the stereotype of the "beautiful Jewess," and the literary/artistic avant-garde.
Jewish Self-Understanding: "The Jew as Oriental"
The position of Lasker-Schuler's early work in the context of literary and cultural history has recently been determined primarily with regard to "cultural Zionism" and the debate about "the Jew as Oriental." At the heart of this debate by Martin Buber, Jakob Wassermann, and others was the attempt to find the essence of Jewishness, and a distinction was made between an "oriental" and an "occidental spirit." Juxtapositions, such as "motor" vs. "sensory," "spiritual" vs. "rationalistic," "idealistic" vs. "materialistic," etc., correspond to those terms. Lasker-Schuler participates in this discourse with her positive representations of "oriental" Jews. This vantage point privileges aspects of her work that define its alterity vis-a-vis discursive patterns of the Christian majority. In this vein, Nina Berman has argued persuasively for understanding the books Die Nachte Tino von Bagdads and Der Prinz von Theben as "part of an affirmative minority discourse that helped to position the Jewish minority in Germany at the beginning of this century" (343): "In their self-confident proclamation of an `oriental' alterity for Jews in Germany, these texts articulate a strategic position of otherness" (274). The question is where to draw the line between a strategic and an essentialist definition of otherness and how this differentiation is established. Mark H. Gelber has recently noted in this context that the themes and motives of Lasker-Schuler's early poems--perhaps unwittingly--betray a great affinity with "cultural Zionism" as it manifested itself in the journal Ost und West and in the circle around it. Gelber sees commonalities primarily in the three subjects that make up the title of his article: "Jewish, Erotic, Female." These concepts refer respectively to a rhetoric of "blood," the erotic charge of religious language, and the representation of "strong" women or suitable references to biblical texts. Because of those commonalities, Gelber argues, Lasker-Schuler could be appropriated by "cultural Zionism." Among the most fascinating qualities of stories like "Der Amoldaufer" and "Ached Bey" is the fact that they resist such an appropriation by subverting the identifications and essentializations of such Jewish self-understanding.
The narratives that I have selected for analysis are by no means unique in this regard, and Lasker-Schuler uses the same strategy in non-fictional texts. An especially telling example would be her letter to Martin Buber from late 1913 / early 1914, in which she charges:
A wolf came to you--a high priest with arrowed teeth ... and--you spoke of literature--you read poems, and I do not like that. You are ashamed that George is a Jew--and are the Lord of Zion? I hate the Jews since I was David or Joseph--I hate the Jews because they disregard my language, because their ears are misshapen and they listen for dwarfishness and a Jewish accent. They eat too much, they should go hungry. (25)
This self-characterization as a wolf with "arrowed teeth" is reminscent of the figure of the Amoklaufer, which here becomes an image of the author in enemy territory. The subsequent use of antisemitic cliches mirrors the same constellation. Judy Atterholt has shown that this passage, too, can be read as part of the debate about the "Oriental character of the Jews," the point being that Buber and Lasker-Schuler are in disagreement: she rejects the Zionist notion that all Jews share the "Oriental spirit" (see Atterholt 88-118). (26)
Buber seeks a source for Jewish renewal in the language and culture of the Hassidim, while Lasker-Schuler sees it in the spirit of art, the "Wildjude" (wild Jew)--as opposed to the unintellectual Jew who has internalized the values of rationalism and materialism. Stefan George, mistaken for a Jew by Lasker-Schuler, has this "Oriental spirit," whereas the non-artistic Jew Martin Buber does not. Buber clings to an essentialist distinction of Orient / Occident while Lasker-Schuler does not. A homogeneous Jewish character, as posited by cultural Zionism, is not reflected here: "Oriental spirit" can be found in the "Occident" as well. Lasker-Schuler thus positions herself confidently within a Jewish tradition. (27)
The "Beautiful Jewess"
Lasker-Schuler's erotic female, with her Jewish connotations and position in a foreign culture, refers to the "beautiful Jewess." For centuries this topos has been used by the gentile majority to express ambivalent attitudes toward both female sexuality and the potential for Jewish assimilation (see Krobb).
Lasker-Schuler's pointed father-daughter constellation invites a comparison with a most prominent "beautiful Jewess": Shylock's daughter Jessica, especially if we consider Heine's famous 1839 essay on her in his treatise "Shakespeare's Girls and Women." In a sense, Heine saved the father at the expense of his daughter. Jessica, who deserts her culture, is called a traitor who shares the blame for her father's lot. As a reason Heine names her carnal desire, which is not about her being Jewish but results from the fact that she is "only a daughter of Eve." (28) For her act of treason, Jessica even had to overcome the characteristic "chastity of the Jews" (275). Heine goes on to associate this "chastity" with a special Jewish knack for abstraction and a specific form of modernity that is characterized by cosmopolitanism, republicanism, and respect for the law.
Superficially, Martin Buber's version of the "beautiful Jewess," developed around 1900, has nothing in common with Heine's image. In his programmatic text "Das Zion der judischen Frau" (1901) Buber writes that the Jewish woman has to overcome her threefold "degeneration" in order to achieve the "Palestinian Zion" (29): "Degeneration of national character, degeneration of the house, degeneration of personality. (29) With an eye toward Jessica and Shylock, however, Buber, like Heine, sees a specific "guilt of the Jewess for the decline of her people" (34) whose root rests within the nature of woman: The "fanaticism of assimilation" is shared "most strongly by the women, who snuggle up to the environment most easily and take on its ways. And when everyone follows the foreign, the inner expansion of Jewishness is paralyzed, one's own power is abolished, the family is destroyed, general solidarity is canceled, the autonomous culture is annihilated" (33). The "Zion" of the Jewish woman is thus based on the rejection of everything "other" and the identification with the "character of her tribe" (35). The return to the "Jewish home" (34) and the ideals of female modesty, motherliness, and love associated with it shall replace the "dull, jittery sloth" (33).
Lasker-Schuler refutes the binaries and essentialism of this Zionism as well as Heine's association of progressiveness, lawfulness, and female chastity. She chooses another tradition over this patriarchal one (exemplified in "Ached Bey" in the reference to Naomi/Naemi): repudiation in the name of the other, admission of difference and alterity, the hybrid, and respect for the irreconcilable.
A level of poetic or artistic self-reflection is common to both stories. The "endless dance" that closes "Ached Bey" and the Salome reference in "Der Amoklaufer" express the contemporary inclination to regard Salome's dance as a poetic paradigm. To quote Silvia Volckmann's pointed interpretation: "Salome's dance asserts the domination of the body over the mind, thus rendering solid borders more fluent" (137).
This continues in the image of the artist as rapist and murderer, another commonplace in the avant-garde of the time, especially in the fine arts, albeit with very different implications (see Hoffmann-Curtius, et al.). Lasker-Schuler's primary influence may have been Kokoschka. His play Morder Hoffnung der Frauen (Murderer, Hope of Women), first published in 1907, appeared in Der Sturm in 1910, the same year in which it also published "Der Amoklaufer." But whereas Kokoschka stages a war of the sexes h la Weininger (see Jager), Lasker-Schuler rewrites him, deconstructs his themes and their underlying oppositions. The way she takes apart images of ethnicity and gender recalls the montages of Hannah H6ch's series Aus einem ethnographischen Museum (From a Museum of Ethnography, 1925-1929). More than offering points of identification, Lasker-Schuler (re)creates tropes of displacement, of endless motion. With regard to "femininity" and "Judaism" she seeks to escape the unsatisfactory alternatives of assimilation or insistence on one's own (femininity/Judaism) in order to reject possibilities of identification that are based on exclusion.
Translated by Joachim Ghislain
Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations from German sources have been rendered by the translator.
(1) The story "Der Amoklaufer" was written in 1909 and appeared first on 10 March 1910 in Der Sturm; it was included later under the new title "Tschandragupta" in Der Prinz von Theben. "Ached Bey" is part of Die Nachte Tino von Bagdads (1907). My quotations refer to the edition Werke und Briefe, vol. 3.1, excellently annotated by Ricarda Dick.
(2) This may include a previously unknown text. In an undated letter to Jethro Bithell, Lasker-Schuler writes that her "Amoklaufer" tells "neu, ganz neu eine uralte Geschichte vom Amoklaufer dessen Mutter die entflohene Tochter des Melechs von Palastine war. Ich glaube es wenigstens" (Lasker-Schuler Werke und Briefe 3.2: 129). Ricarda Dick has warned me, however, that this might well be an invented reference by Lasker-Schuler.
(3) I am grateful to my Trier colleague Erika Timm, Professor of Yiddish Studies, for her linguistic expertise. To my knowledge, only Ricarda Dick has noted the reference to the name Salome (see Lasker-Schuler, Werke und Briefe 3.2:111, 130).
(4) For Heine's importance for Lasker-Schuler, see Bauschinger (68) and Shedletzky.
(5) "Tschandragupta was an Indian king who ruled from 322 until 298 BC, founded the Maurja dynasty, and conquered large parts of northern India" (Dick, Lasker-Schuler, Werke und Briefe 3.2: 129). Keeping in mind the genealogical relations in the story, however, one might instead consider the later Gupta dynasty (320-540 AD) built on the former kingdom of Magadha where this Chandragupta ruled more than 600 years before. The Gupta rule began with Chandragupta I (320-ca. 330) and was continued and expanded considerably by his son and heir Samudragupta (ca. 330-375). Under his son Chandragupta II (ca. 375-413) the empire reached its prime: mathematics, the arts, music, and dance, as well as Hinduism and Sanskrit literature flowered, thus turning the age into India's classical period. Among the poets who lived and worked at the Gupta court was Kalidasa, whose major works were published in German around 1900. Some translations were new, others were reprinted, such as the drama Sakuntala, translated from the English by Georg Forster and highly appreciated in Germany after Goethe had praised it.
(6) This, combined with the phrase "Schlome of Jericho," refers to another source: the story of the prostitute Rahab (see Josh. 2 and 5-6).
(7) The "tempelalte[r] Knecht" is the high priest. Given the use of the noun "Wandel" in Lasker-Schuler's poems, it is most likely to be understood as "change" rather than "walk" (see Lasker-Schuler, Werke und Briefe 1.2: 597).
(8) Lasker-Schuler, "Lieber gestreifter Tiger" I: 48 (to Jethro Bithell, 25 December 1909). On 12 August 1910 she writes: "In my grimmest hours I am the fakir of Thebes (Jacques the Ripper). Shudder!" (73).
(9) See Schuller (41-55) and the detailed interpretation in Liska (95-100).
(10) The rendition "Naemi" is from Luther's Bible translation; "Naomi" (German: "Noomi") is more common today. I retain Lasker-Schuler's "Naemi," when I refer to the character in the story.
(11) See Heine (374 f.). The reference to Heine has been noted by Ricarda Dick in her commentary (see Lasker-Schuler Werke und Briefe 3.2: 93).
(12) "While his saber smites and severs / Frankish heads and helms by dozens, / Still he's smiling like a lover--/ Ah, his smile is soft and tender" (Heine 375).
(13) For the aspects of incest, see Liska (97).
(14) Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mothers-in-law since the death of your husband--how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge" (Ruth 2.11-12). This complex is glossed over by Liska who was the first to point out the aspect of "alienness" in Naemi/Naomi but read it simply as a "Zeichen der Versohnung zwischen den Volkern und als Wamung gegen Vorurteile Fremden gegenuber" (96).
(15) Reiss-Suckow (225) surmises the same, although without consequences for her interpretation.
(16) Lessing's Enlightenment models remain within the frame of "reasonable fatherhood." The daughter figure Tino differs considerably from both Recha (the product of a successful education by her father) and her "sister" Sittah (the morally problematic Muslim who cannot be integrated into the "one" family). The significance of Lessing's Nathan the Wise in an intercultural perspective is primarily centered around the Templar's character and disposition (see Kluger).
(17) See Hallensleben (53). I was not able to look at Hallensleben's book before finishing this article. He, too, refers to the "Salomeic dance" at the story's end (52).
(18) See Exod. 33.9; 40.34-38; Num. 12.5; Num. 31.15; later mentionings in Neh. 9.12,19; Ps. 78.14; 99.7; 105.39; 1 Cor 10.1.
(19) "Yes, he was a mighty poet, / Star and beacon for his age // Light and lamp among his people, / And a wonderful and mighty // Pillar of poetic fire / In the vanguard of all Israel's / Caravan of woe and sorrow / In the desert, waste of exile" (Draper 659).
(20) "Tranquil flowed the rabbi's lifeblood, / Tranquilly he sang his song out / To the end, and his last dying / Sigh breathed out: Jerusalem!--" (Draper 669).
(21) See Heine's "Princess Sabbath," the first poem of the Hebrew Melodies, which directly precedes "Jehuda ben Halevy." Heine's mistake is well-known: the song is not by Jehuda ben Samuel Halevi, as he was in fact called, but by Salomo Halevy Alkabez. For an interpretation, see Mach.
(22) This polarity remains, even if one considers the short narrative "Der Tempel Jehovas" as a kind of continuation of "Ached Bey," since it follows the latter directly (see Liska 100-02).
(23) The wordplay on the Latin name of the wood anemone--anemone nemorosa--and the biblical Naemi may point to this development of alterity, as Liska has suggested: "The wood anemone is a seemingly harmless early spring flower; it contains, however, a deadly poison" (96). This moment of alterity plays a significant part in Lasker-Schuler's "Ruth" poems as well.
(24) One is reminded of Yvan Goll's great poem "Noemi," which appeared first in Die Aktion on 9 October 1916, and was subsequently published in different versions in other places, among them in Menschheitsdam-merung (1919). The analogies to Lasker-Schuler's "Ached Bey" are surprising. Hartberger summarizes her studies on Goll's poem with the conclusion that his Noemi appears as "the ultimate Jewess, the female critic of a failed androcracy" (95). It is precisely her alterity that opens the possibility to install Noemi "as a thematic figure of the whole history of the Jewish people and make her a critical juror who knows the beginning and applies it as a yardstick to everything that happens" (267). Nonetheless, the difference from Lasker-Schuler's conception of Naemi (not considered by Hartberger) is a fundamental one: for Goll, Noemi embodies a pure origin providing a measure and guarantee for a new beginning, and her frame of reference is the "Spirit of Israel" that she invokes.
(25) "Ein Wolf war bei Ihnen--ein Oberpriester mit gepfeilten Zahnen ... und--Sie sprachen von Literatur--Sie lasen Gedichte und ich mag das nicht. Sie schamen sich, dass George Jude ist--und sind der Herr von Zion? Ich hasse die Juden, da ich David war oder Joseph--ich hasse die Juden, weil sie meine Sprache missachten, weil ihre Ohren verwachsen sind und sie nach Zwergerei horchen und Gemauschel. Sie fressen zu viel, sie sollten hungern" (Lasker-Schuler, "Lieber gestreifter Tiger" 1: 117).
(26) Lasker-Schuler probably did believe that Stefan George, whom she admired, was Jewish; this assumption was quite common at the time, but Buber knew it was mistaken. Atterholt is mistaken when she asserts that a gentile is knowingly granted "artistic Jewishness."
(27) I am aware that this does not answer all the questions that spring to mind when interpreting this letter, let alone all the questions that concern Lasker-Schuler's position in the contemporary discourse about Jewish identity. Atterholt pursues especially the devalorization of the Eastern Jews and the Yiddish language. She argues that Buber considered the language and culture of the Eastern Jews as more authentically Jewish than the German language and the attitudes and values transported by it. That must have provoked a German-speaking artist who created her own "creolic" mix, juxtaposing it in the quoted letter to the unaesthetic "Jewish" accent (111-18). Atterholt combines this with the thesis that Lasker-Schuler perpetuates the opposition of Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews; the Spanish Jews are romanticized a la Heine, the Eastern Jews are devalorized (110). Her argument deserves consideration. I would contend, however, that Lasker-Schfiler raises a question in "Der Wunderrabbiner von Barcelona" (1921) that is glossed over in its forerunner, Heine's "Der Rabbi von Bacherach": the question of guilt on the part of the rabbi and the young couple. See Shedletzky for this aspect of Lasker-Schuler's story.
(28) "Nur eine Tochter Evas" (Heine, Shakespeares Madchen und Frauen 7: 171-293, here 257). For Heine's understanding of Jessica, see Jacobi (167 f.).
(29) "Entartung des Volkstums, Entartung des Hauses, Entartung der Personlichkeit" (31).
Atterholt, Judy. Gender, Ethnicity and the Crisis of Representation in Else Lasker-Schuler's Early Poetry and Prose. Diss Stanford U., 1993.
Bauschinger, Sigrid. Else Lasker-Schuler: Ihr Werk und ihre Zeit. Heidelberg: Lothar Stiehm, 1980.
Berman, Nina. Orientalismus, Kolonialismus und Moderne: Zum Bild des Orients in der deutschsprachigen Kultur um 1900. Stuttgart: M & P, 1996.
Buber, Martin. "Das Zion der judischen Frau: Aus einer Ansprache." Die judische Bewegung: Gesammelte Aufsatze und Ansprachen 1900-1915. Berlin: Judischer Verlag, 1916. 28-38.
Draper, Hal. The Complete Poems of Heinrich Heine: A Modem English Version. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp/Insel, 1982.
Frayling, Christopher. "The House that Jack Built: Some Stereotypes of the Rapist in the History of Popular Culture." Rape: A Historical and Social Enquiry. Ed. Sylvana Tomaselli and Roy Porter. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986. 175-215.
Gelber, Mark H. "Jewish, Erotic, Female: Else Lasker-Schuler in the Context of Cultural Zionism." Else Lasker-Schuler: Ansichten und Perspektiven / Views and Reviews. Ed. Ernst Schurer and Sonja Hedgepeth. Tubingen: Francke, 1999. 27-43.
Gilman, Sander L. Sexuality: An Illustrated History: Representing the Sexual in Medicine and Culture from the Middle Ages to the Age of AIDS. New York: John Wiley, 1989.
Goll, Yvan. "Noemi." Menschheitsdammerung: Ein Dokument des Expressionismus. Ed. Kurt Pinthus. Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1974. 270-73.
Hallensleben, Markus. Else Lasker-Schuler: Avantgardismus und Kunstinszenierung. Tubingen: Francke, 2000.
Hartberger, Birgit. Das biblische Ruth-Motiv in deutschen lyrischen Gedichten des 20. Jahrhunderts. Altenberge: Oros, 1992.
Hedgepeth, Sonja. "Uberall blicke ich nach einem heimatlichen Boden aus": Exil im Werk Else Lasker-Schulers. New York: Peter Lang, 1994.
Heine, Heinrich. Samtliche Schrifien in 12 Banden. Ed. Klans Briegleb. Frankfurt a.M.: Ullstein, 1981.
Heizer, Donna K. Jewish-German Identity in the Orientalist Literature of Else Lasker-Schuler, Friedrich Wolf, and Franz Werfel. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1996.
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Jacobi, Ruth L. Heinrich Heines judisches Erbe. Bonn: Bouvier, 1978. Jager, Georg. "Kokoschkas Mprder Hoffnung der Frauen: Die Geburt des Theaters der Grausamkeit aus dem Geist der Wiener Jahrhundertwende." Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrifi N.F. 32.2 (1982): 215-33.
Kluger, Ruth. "Kreuzzug and Kindertraume in Lessings Nathan der Weise." Katastrophen: Uber deutsche Literatur. Gottingen: Wallstein, 1994. 189-227.
Kokoschka, Oscar. Morder Hoffnung der Frauen. Berlin: Verlag der Sturm, 1902.
Kristeva, Julia. Strangers to Ourselves. New York: Columbia UP, 1991. Krobb, Florian. Die schone Judin: Judische Frauengestalten in der deutsch-sprachigen Erzahlliteratur vom 17. Jahrhundert bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1993.
Lasker-Schuler, Else. "Der Antisemitismus." Verse und Prosa aus dem Nachlass. Munchen: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986.68-72.
--. Lieber gestreifier Tiger: Briefe von Else Lasker-Schuler. Ed. Margarete Kupper. 2 vol. Munchen: Kosel, 1969.
--. Werke and Briefe: Kritische Ausgabe. Bd. 1.2: Gedichte. Anmerkungen. Bearbeitet von Karl Jurgen Skrodzki unter Mitarbeit von Norbert Oellers. Frankfurt a.M.: Judischer Vefiag im Suhrkamp Verlag, 1996. Bd. 3.1/2. Bearbeitet von Ricarda Dick. Frankfurt a.M.; Judischer Verlag im Suhrkamp Verlag, 1998 (Bd. 3.1: Prosa 1903-1920; Bd. 3.2: Prosa 1903-1920. Anmerkungen).
Liska, Vivian. Die Dichterin and das schelmische Erhabene: Else Lasker-Schulers Die Nachte Tino von Bagdads. Tubingen: Francke, 1998.
Mach, Dafna. "Heines Prinzessin Sabbat--hebraisch verkleidet." Heine-Jahrbuch 22 (1983): 96-120.
O'Brien, Mary-Elizabeth. "`Ich war verkleidet als Poet ... ich bin Poetin!!'--The Masquerade of Gender in Else Lasker-Schfiler's Work." German Quarterly 65.1 (1992): 1-17.
Redmann, Jennifer. Imagining Selves: Gender and Identity in the Work of Else Lasker-Schuler. Diss. U. of Wisconsin, 1996.
Reiss-Suckow, Christine. "Wer wird mir Schbpfer sein!!" Die Entwicklung Else Lasker-Schulers als Kunstlerin. Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre, 1997.
Schuller, Marianne. "Maskeraden: Schrift, Bild und die Frage des Geschlechts in der fruhen Prosa Else Lasker-Schulers." Zwischen Schrifi und Bild: Entwurfe des Weiblichen in literarischer Verfahrensweise. Ed. Christine Krause, et al. Heidelberg: Mattes, 1994.41-55.
Shedletzky, Itta. "Bacherach and Barcelona: On Else Lasker-Schuler's Relation to Heinrich Heine." The Jewish Reception of Heinrich Heine. Ed. Mark H. Gelber. Tubingen: Niemeyer 1992. 114-26.
Volckmann, Silvia. "Die Frau mit den zwei Kopfen: Der Mythos Salome." Don Juan und Femme fatale. Ed. Helmut Kreuzer. Munchen: Fink, 1994. 127-42.
Wolf, Ruth. "Versuch uber Heines Jehuda ben Halevy." Heine-Jahrbuch 18 (1979): 84-98.
Herbert Uerlings is Professor of German at the University of Trier, Germany, president of the Internationale Novalis-Gesellschaft, and co-director of Trier's interdisciplinary post-graduate colloquium "Identitat und Differenz: Interkulturalitat und Geschlechterdifferenz vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart." Among his many publications on German literature from the eighteenth century to the present are Poetiken der lnterkulturalitat: Haiti bei Kleist, Seghers, Muller, Buch und Fichte (1997), and two coedited volumes: Beschreiben und Erfinden: Figuren des Fremden vom 18. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (2000), and Das Subjekt und die Anderen: Interkulturalitat und Geschlechterdifferenz (2001).
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|Publication:||Women in German Yearbook|
|Article Type:||Topic Overview|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2002|
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