Title

"The beloved ideas made flesh": Daniel Deronda and Jewish Poetics

Document Type

Article

Comments

Published in: ELH: English Literary History, vol. 77, no. 3, 2010.

Abstract

This essay reads George Eliot's Daniel Deronda as a self-conscious revision of the Christian scriptural approach to Jewish identity and Jewish literary authority. Whereas the Christian Scriptures discredit Judaism and Jewish people, severing them from the authority of their Jewish literary and scriptural canon, in Daniel Deronda Eliot restores the Jews to primary ownership of their textual tradition. Linking the discourses of poetic identity and Jewish identity throughout the novel, Eliot thus challenges universalist assumptions of Western (Christian) aesthetic theory.

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