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Klezmer’s AfterlifeAn Ethnography of the Jewish Music Revival in Poland and Germany$
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Magdalena Waligorska

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199995790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199995790.001.0001

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Meeting the Other, Eating the Other

Meeting the Other, Eating the Other

Klezmer as a Contact Zone

(p.94) 3 Meeting the Other, Eating the Other
Klezmer’s Afterlife

Magdalena Waligórska

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the framework of cultural translation and cultural anthropophagy (de Andrade) as a counter-paradigm to the framework of appropriation presented in the previous chapters. It develops the claim that klezmer, as a lay, accessible and easily enjoyable medium, is one of the most intensive “Jewish Spaces” (Pinto) or Jewish/non-Jewish “contact zones” (Pratt) in Europe, providing a space where Jews and non-Jews have the chance to meet, but also where non-Jews can live out their interest in Jewish issues. This unique contact zone is marked by both “meeting” and “eating.” That is, it enables, on the one hand, dialogue, learning and communication, and, on the other, consumption, commercialization and appropriation of elements of the culture of the other in the process of defining the self. Taking this dual nature of the phenomenon into consideration, the chapter also deals with the relations between the klezmer scene and local Jewish communities in the context of the commercial success of klezmer.

Keywords:   contact zone, cultural anthropophagy, consumption, “Jewish Space”, interethnic encounter, Jewish/non-Jewish relations, cultural translation, Pinto, Pratt, de Andrade

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