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Cultural Anxieties of Russian-Jewish Émigrés:

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on two outstanding Russian Jews: Dr Max Eitingon, a psychoanalyst of Russian-Jewish origin, founder of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute and a close associate of Freud; and the irrationalist and existentialist philosopher Lev Shestov, whose essentially postmodern premonitions are of increasing interest today. It would be a valuable exercise in its own right to compare and contrast such individual destinies as these. There is, however, a more profound task to be found beneath it: to place these individual case studies in the broader cultural context of the epoch and to reconstruct a landscape of the cultural-ideological concerns and attitudes within the Russian-Jewish Diaspora. Discerning typical characteristics from singular ones is a complex, maybe insoluble, problem. In this case one is forced - on the basis of studying these two lives - to pose questions or make suggestions rather than provide answers, leaving the reader to extrapolate from the particular to the general.

Keywords:Lev Shestov; Max Eitingon; Russian Jews



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