Meïr Goldschmidt and the main currents in 19th-century Judaism


  • Kenneth Ober University of Illinois


Jews -- Denmark, Danish literature, Authors, Danish, Jewish literature, Jewish authors


Although the noted nineteenth-century Danish-Jewish writer Meïr Goldschmidt (1819–1887) made his entry into literature with a novel on Jewish themes, his later novels treated non-Jewish subjects, and his Jewish heritage appeared progressively to recede into the background of his public image. Literary historians have paid little attention to his complex perception of his own Jewishness and have made no effort to discover the immense significance he himself felt that Judaism had for his life and for his literary works. Moreover, no previous study has comprehensively treated Goldschmidt’s far-reaching network of interrelationships with an astonishing number of other major Jewish cultural figures of nineteenth-century Europe. During his restless travels crisscrossing Europe, which were facilitated by his phenomenal knowledge of the major European languages, he habitually sought out and associated with the leading Jewish figures in literature, the arts, journalism, and religion, but this fact and the resulting mutually influential connections he formed have been overlooked and ignored. This is the first focused and documented study of the Jewish aspect of Goldschmidt’s life, so vitally important to Goldschmidt himself and so indispensable to a complete understanding of his place in Danish and in world literatures.



How to Cite

Ober, K. (2001). Meïr Goldschmidt and the main currents in 19th-century Judaism. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 22(1), 7–45.