Der Wandel des Judenbildes in der katalanischen Literatur der Jahrhundertwende: Reiseberichte von Pilgerfahrten katalanischer Theologen ins Heilige Land. 1889-1908


  • Christina Meissner


The Change in the Depiction of Jews in Catalonian Literature at the Turn of the Century: Travel Accounts of Pilgrimages by the Catalonian Clergymen in the Holy Land, 1889 - 1908. It is easy to observe that in the last few years there has been a real «boom» pertaining to the themes of Jews in Catalonian Literature. But the question arises: from when can we speak of such a growing interest in Jewish themes in Catalonian Literature? The numerous travelogues of Catalonian clergymen to Palestine can certainly help us to shed some light on this question. Beginning with the analysis of the works of Verdaguer it is easy to find in his lyrical work a massive presence of people and traditions from the Old Testament. The author presents them as metaphors for the «glorious moments» of the Catalan national history. On the other hand his travel diary: Dietari d'un pelegrí a Terra Santa (1889), is nothing but another document of anti-Judaism motivated from a tradition prevalent in the Catholic Church. In contradiction to this we encounter in Costa i Lloberas? Visions de Palestina (1908), a very high esteem for the Old Testament as well as for Jewish culture and tradition, notwithstanding the pre-eminent position he assigns to Christianity in his own religious hierarchy. He even tries to employ traditional forms of Hebrew lyrics in order to enrich his mother tongue, Catalan. It is probably in this changed attitude towards the world of Judaism at the beginning of the 20th century, that the seed for a strong reception of Jewish themes in the Catalan Literature, which we are experiencing at present, was already sown.