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Consuming Identities: German-Jewish Performativity After The "Schoah"

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Jewish cultural consumption in the new Germany, and examines specific set of representations from Maxim Biller's middlebrow fictions. It deals with Biller's self-reflective stories (Finkelstein's Fingers) with Judith Butler's theories of subjectivity and performativity, thus demonstrating how Biller's writing draws attention to the constructed and consumerist quality of the post-Shoah negative symbiosis. More typically, German-Jewish writers between Franz Kafka and Biller are viewed through a post- Holocaust lens, lending them an aura of tragic nobility. Biller's characters perform a deviation from "German" norms, although constraining interpellations of identity - in Butler's terminology, "reiterative convocations" - can never be completely enacted. Biller may also have "loosened up" himself somewhat. The question remains, however, precisely how Jews might "loosen up" when approaching Germans in the era subsequent to the Schoah - that newly Germanized term for Sho'ah.

Keywords: Franz Kafka; German-Jewish performativity; Jewish cultural consumption; Maxim Biller; Schoah



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