By Carol Margaret Davison (auth.)
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Additional resources for Anti-Semitism and British Gothic Literature
But he is a Jew which is one within, and the circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God' (Shapiro, Shakespeare: 118). Central to Paul's statements was the idea of Jews as the people of the Book and the Law bound to the literal, material world, and blind to the realm of the spiritual and the figurative. The adversus judaeos literature of the early Christian era 'argued that Hebrew Scripture proved that the Jews had demonstrated in numerous instances their incapacity to The Primal Scene 41 serve as the guardians of sacred Scripture - by misreading it, mistranslating it, even mutilating it' (Ragussis, Figures: 81).
Unlike the uncanny moments, therefore, where the demonic is revealed to be domestic and the 'Other' revealed to be 'Brother', a corollary exists in the Gothic where the successfully 'invasive' CryptoJewish 'Brother' is exposed to be a sinister 'Other' who wishes to convert his national host. Slavoj Zizek notably and unwittingly describes this manifestation of the Gothic uncanny specifically in relation to anti-Semitism. The anti-Semite's Jew is compared to the alien body snatchers in the well known 19 SO's film Invasion of the Body Snatchers where an invasion of creatures from outer space [who] assume human shape they look exactly like human beings, they have all their properties, but in some sense this makes them all the more 1mcannily strange.
Indeed, several studies have made only minimally successful forays into exploring the question of the Gothic's vital and often constructive role in national identity formation on both sides of the Atlantic. Cannon Schmitt's 1997 study Alien Nation: Nineteenth-Century Gothic Fictions and English Nationality is, to my knowledge, the first critical study to claim for Gothic literature an important role in the construction of British national identity. While Schmitt's work highlights the profound xenophobia at the core of Gothic fiction, his primary argument that the besieged female in those narratives stands in for a besieged nation state is fairly simplistic and, as such, often more problematic than illuminating.
Anti-Semitism and British Gothic Literature by Carol Margaret Davison (auth.)