Book Review: Jewish traditions in literature - D. Meijer

Miscellaneous masterblaster56 August 7, 2016 0 0
Jewish literature is about writers who are connected by the thread of the Jewish tradition, Jewish culture and Jewish history. There are many Jewish writers or writers who write about the Jewish culture. Daphne Meijer has a number collected in the book "Jewish traditions in the literature. The book is published on the occasion of the Literary Book Month held in March 1998 in the bookstores of the Beehive.


  • Title: Jewish traditions in literature
  • Author: Daphne Meijer
  • year: 1998
  • publisher: De Bijenkorf
  • ISBN: 90-71442-82-9

Contents of the book "Jewish traditions in literature '

In the introduction Daphne Meijer writes that the book is about novels, short stories and poems that add something to her -and hopefully the lezers'- understanding of Judaism, Jewish history and Jewish culture. Not all Jewish writers use their Jewish background as material to work with. For example, the authors Harry Mulisch and Ethel Portnoy not addressed. There will also be non-Jewish writers discussed who write about Jewish characters. It also involves not only orthodox Jewish writers who take the Torah as a starting point. There are many Jews who are Jewish and humanist who believe that everyone must take responsibility to improve the world and to do something for others. Since 1945, the Second World War is also part of the Jewish tradition. In addition, the new Jewish state of Israel plays a role in Jewish tradition.
Daphne Meijer chose hundred books. She wrote articles on the authors. Her criteria was to make a choice: which books go on one way or the other about the Jewish culture likes them and recommends them? Furthermore, the book had to be written in Dutch and translated the books had to be available in 1998 in the bookstores. Books that do not appeal to her, she has not been included in the book. Also books that appeal to a small audience are not included. They also had little place to discuss several books. She has paid great attention to books by Israeli authors.
The author has been criticized by people around her who think it is not right to write a book about Jewish writers. They call it segregation and sectarianism.

Vision Etsel

To begin with the latter, we do not agree with those who consider this book on Jewish writers as sectarianism. This is an incorrect conclusion. The book is about Jewish tradition, culture and history. For people looking for information about it is the book of Daphne Meijers perfect. The book gives a good overview of authors that deal with the Jewish traditions, culture and history. This book saves a lot of work for readers who are looking for Jewish writers.
Unfortunately there is no arrangement made in the book. All writers are mixed. Would have been nice if for example the writers in each country would be organized for Israeli writers, Dutch writers, American writers, etc. Another classification could be based on a specific period.
The writers are briefly described and then a list of books which follows what is told briefly. Due to lack of space, the chapters are quite short. That is unfortunate but nothing to do. The book can be quickly read and foremost intended as a reference for readers who are looking for Jewish writers.