Klezmer's Afterlife An Ethnography of the Jewish Music Revival in Poland and Germany

by Magdalena (Assistant Professor of East European History and Culture, University of Bremen) Waligorska

Klezmer's Afterlife An Ethnography of the Jewish Music Revival in Poland and Germany Synopsis

Klezmer in Europe has been a controversial topic ever since this traditional Jewish wedding music made it to the concert halls and discos of Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest and Prague. Played mostly by non-Jews and for non-Jews, it was hailed as fakelore, Jewish Disneyland and even cultural necrophilia. Klezmer's Afterlife is the first book to investigate this fascinating music scene in Central Europe, giving voice to the musicians, producers and consumers of the resuscitated klezmer. Contesting common hypotheses about the klezmer revival in Germany and Poland stemming merely from feelings of guilt which emerged in the years following the Holocaust, author Magdalena Waligorska investigates the consequences of the klezmer boom on the people who staged it and places where it occurred. Offering not only a documentation of the klezmer revival in two of its European headquarters (Krakow and Berlin), but also an analysis of the Jewish / non-Jewish encounter it generates, Waligorska demonstrates how the klezmer revival replicates and reinvents the image of the Jew in Polish and German popular culture, how it becomes a soundtrack to Holocaust commemoration and how it is used as a shining example of successful cultural policy by local officials. Drawing on a variety of fields including musicology, ethnomusicology, history, sociology, and cultural studies, Klezmer's Afterlife will appeal to a wide range scholars and students studying Jewish culture, and cultural relations in post-Holocaust central Europe, as well as general readers interested in klezmer music and music revivals more generally.

Klezmer's Afterlife An Ethnography of the Jewish Music Revival in Poland and Germany Press Reviews

This book is exceptionally readable considering the complexity of the heavily nuanced subject area ... This book is a good read not only for social science scholars ... but also anyone interested in cultural history. * Philip Palmer * The book is highly enriching, presenting an inspiring methodology, sophisticated analysis, and a clear and justified conclusion. It offers a significant contribution to ethnography, anthropology, culture studies, Jewish studies, and more. * Marina Ritzarev, Slavic and East European Journal *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780199995790
Publication date: 17th October 2013
Author: Magdalena (Assistant Professor of East European History and Culture, University of Bremen) Waligorska
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Folk & traditional music,

About Magdalena (Assistant Professor of East European History and Culture, University of Bremen) Waligorska

Magdalena Waligorska is a cultural historian and sociologist working in the field of Jewish heritage revival, Polish/German-Jewish relations and cultural translation. She graduated from Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) and Dalarna University in Falun (Sweden). In 2009 she received her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). She has co-edited Cultural Representations of Jewishness at the Turn of the 21st Century and published, among others, in Ethnomusicology, Jewish Cultural Studies and East European Politics and Societies. She is currently a Assistant Professor of East European History and Culture at the University of Bremen

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