Judaization, Wagner, Nordau
This chapter first discusses Judaization's predictable associations with usury, money, and capitalism. It points to its origins in notions of religious interpretive difference and suggests its importance in helping us understand the role of the figure of the Jew in interpreting and representing the experience of modernity. The chapter then examines two texts commonly regarded as forming the origins of the Nazi antisemitic interpretation of modernism: Richard Wagner's 1850 essay “Judaism in Music,” which brings the term Verjüdung (Judaization) into the German language; and Max Nordau's 1892 bestseller Entartung (Degeneration), which is believed to have introduced the medicalized notion of degeneracy into the cultural sphere.
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