2009 | 6 | 2(23) | 199-223
Article title

THE RHETORIC OF EXPRESSION AND ETHICAL PROBLEM OF ASSIMILATION. CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING JOSEPH ROTH'S ESSAY 'JUDEN AUF WANDERSCHAFT' (Retoryka ekspresji i etyczny problem asymilacji. Rozwazania wokól eseju Josepha Rotha 'Juden auf Wanderschaft')

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The article is to acquaint Polish readers with Joseph Roth's 1927 essay 'The Wandering Jews'. The author's main intention was to show the difficult situation of Jews in Eastern Europe and the complex process of assimilation of poor and uneducated Jewish immigrants in modern Western societies. This was accompanied by the author's plea for helping such immigrants and a call to stop the indifference towards their plight, of which he accused Western citizens of Jewish heritage. The expressive value and the violent metaphors of the language employed in this essay, over one hundred pages long, were the results of the author's concern of the European predicament of immigrants from the East. Roth consciously chooses a direct, emotional narration, which was supposed to shock the reader, over a material, factual, academic rhetoric, which he saw as dull. The originality of this essay is rooted in its humanitarian content expressed in a very emotional and dramatic fashion, which in turn places the text closer to the field of ethical criticism than to that of a balanced academic discourse.
  • Urszula Gorska, c/o Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydzial Polonistyki, Zaklad Literatury Pozytywizmu i Mlodej Polski, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieswcie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
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