February 25, 13
Daniel Deronda Cont.
- Agnostic – but interested in religious debates.
- Background – Low Church Anglican (Methodism/Evangelical) –
Environment in which she grew up – Bible is the literal word of G-d
– filter all beliefs through that principle.
- The passion and intensity in the life and death of Jesus.
- Didn't know a living Jew until the 1950’s
- Read Josephus in 1940’s.
- Shaken by Darwinism.
- Sealed her off from Christianity all together.
- David Friedrich Strauss – The life of Jesus – Secularized humanistic
account of Jesus – Marry translated this from German to English.
- Judah Halevi – cultural hero of Modern Zionism
- Also translated Feuerbach and Spinoza.
- 5 Themes:
- 1) Images of Jews – Cursing (Evil eye during the gambling scene)
- When G runs out of money she sells her necklace to a pawnbroker
(pg 13/14) “G’s dominant regret was that after all she had only
nine louis…” – Pawnbrokers are a middle-man – The Jew as middle-
man – unproductive.
- Deronda (a Jew) is a “redeemer” – he’s a mediating figure between
Christianity and Judaism. – He also never renounces Christianity.
- Pg. 165 – Meera and Deronda – she tries to commit suicide –
rescues her – He redeems it.
- Set between 1864 and 1866
- Lapidoth is actually last named Cohen
- 183 – Last 10 lines – they are heading back to Germany – someone
referring to another as “one of those clever Jews” – Jewish women
are seducers of Christian men…etc…
- 313 – Meera’s own father mocks Judaism.
- The musician – Klesmer – Jew – Music identified with Jews –
Working in the circles of upper crust English Society but very
different from them.
- 206 – things about him ^ and others.
- Elijah Klesmer – Wandering Jew. – Comes from Middle Ages – Fable
– When Jesus was being crucified a Jew mocked him and G-d
cursed him to wander eternally.
- He’s a man of the world – ruthless – also figure of fear – relates to
Jews under Feudal Europe.
- 175 – 177 – Deronda’s first extended thought on Jews and Judaism. - Something about Meera is attractive to him – they both lost their
mothers and search for her – If you don't have a mother then what
identity do you have?