Download e-book for iPad: Dreaming of Michelangelo: Jewish Variations on a Modern by Asher D. Biemann

By Asher D. Biemann

ISBN-10: 0804784361

ISBN-13: 9780804784368

Dreaming of Michelangelo is the 1st book-length research to discover the highbrow and cultural affinities among smooth Judaism and the lifestyles and paintings of Michelangelo Buonarroti. It argues that Jewish intellectuals stumbled on themselves within the picture of Michelangelo as an "unrequited lover" whose paintings expressed loneliness and a eager for humanity's reaction. the trendy Jewish mind's eye hence turned consciously idolatrous. Writers dropped at life—literally—Michelangelo's sculptures, seeing in them their very own worldly and emotional struggles. The Moses statue specifically grew to become an archetype of Jewish liberation politics in addition to a critical concentration of Jewish aesthetics. And such affinities prolonged past sculpture: Jewish viewers to the Sistine Chapel reinterpreted the ceiling as a manifesto of prophetic socialism, with out its Christian components. in line with Biemann, the phenomenon of Jewish self-recognition in Michelangelo's paintings provided a substitute for the failed provides of the German enlightenment. via this unforeseen discovery, he rethinks German Jewish historical past and its connections to Italy, the Mediterranean, and the paintings of the Renaissance.

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Hope Remote and near, love’s self-estrangement foreshadows what we colloquially term hope. ”39 In love’s unfulfilledness, in its vigilant “daydreaming” and not-yet, as Bloch would put it, lay its possibility of being more than itself: In the romantic pains of Fernliebe originates, as Hermann Cohen clearly saw, the love not only for the faraway but also for the remotest one (der Fernste). 40 Or, as he wrote fifteen years later: “It was the stranger who helped the commandment of love emerge. In the stranger man was recognized as a human being.

94 Yet, Zweig’s sentiment still reflected a desire that there was such a thing as “Mediterranean culture” that could offer what the North had denied its Jewish subjects: unqualified, unambiguous companionship. Thus, it was precisely the “erotic,” not sufficiently “Germanized” disposition of the Mediterranean that contributed to Italy’s quasi-innate, albeit “naïve,” humanism. And it may have been the same eroticism and the same desire for the unconstrained that found a parallel in the Jewish love for Michelangelo.

135 Rilke’s Young Sculptor shares a common dream of the artist in search of a land governed by beauty, imagination, and intimate knowledge of art and desire. This dream, as we have now gathered from our perambulating meditation, was one invoking not only aesthetic liberation but also freedom from Nordic constraints. ”137 Considering the long history of Jewish dreams of Italy and its capital city, one cannot but find Sigmund Freud’s initial hesitations to enter Rome as a place of impenetrable foreignness astonishingly misplaced.

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Dreaming of Michelangelo: Jewish Variations on a Modern Theme by Asher D. Biemann


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