Auerbach's Scars: Judaism and the question of literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay explores Erich Auerbach's work and discusses its origins and implications as a German-Jewish project which reflects the dialectic of modernism and tradition, literature and theology, Judaism and Christianity. According to this essay Auerbach's book Mimesis, his concept of literature and his understanding of realistic representation should not be separated from his views on Jewish monotheism and from his modernist negotiation with its heritage. Mimesis thus attests to the ambiguous structure of identity and it shows the differences and similarities, the gaps and the belonging-together of the Jewish, the Christian, and the Greek. It is the structure of a cut and a stitch, the structure of a scar, which reflects the dialectics of representation in Auerbach's project. The scar is the sign of German-Jewish writing that was charged with an experience of pain, crisis, and exile-Europe 1942.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-630
Number of pages27
JournalJewish Quarterly Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Erich Auerbach
  • Judaism
  • Literature
  • Modernism
  • Representation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Auerbach's Scars: Judaism and the question of literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this