Gesichterordnungen. Zu Arnold Zweigs und Hermann Strucks ‚Das ostjüdische Antlitz‘
Pages 289 - 312
Das ostjüdische Antlitz (1920) constitutes a hybrid work of art, an idiosyncratic mixture of essay, ekphrasis and praise of the ‘Eastern Jew’. So far the text has been considered as a typical example of folklore, a counter-myth to the assimilated ‘Western Jew’. By contrast, this re-reading focuses on the epistemological function of the face, situated between east and west, and oscillating between “countenance” and “grotesque grimace”. The significant disorder of image and text, which is to be observed, reveals a certain instability in the representations of the ‘Eastern Jew’ and throws light on the experimental relation between text and image, between the author Zweig and the draughtsman Struck. Both artists prove to be rather independent of each other and act on different presuppositions when realizing their iconographic and symbolic evocations of Eastern Jewish faces.