Mourning, Melancholy and Hexis: Towards a Context for Fritz Yshaq Baer

Eleazar Gutwirth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


An examination, annotation and translation of the hitherto unpublished correspondence with Baer in the Baron papers lead to a re-contextualization. Intensified after his demise in 1980, a large stream of publications attempted to contextualize the work of the historian of the Jews of Christian Spain, Fritz Yshaq Baer, against the background of broadly known events of the twentieth century, identifying him with a "School" of Jewish history. Here this notion is traced to the early 1970s and alternative possibilities are explored. First, attention is paid to the role of institutions, networks and models in the production of knowledge without restricting this solely to the universities or to Germany. This leads to valuing the role of Spanish institutions and their intellectual presuppositions and practices. The history of reading raises questions as to the role of intended public, history of the book and genre in his publications. Finally, taking the ethics of reading into consideration, we ask who the participants in the dialogues he was constructing were. This includes his correspondence with Baron which is published as an appendix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-253
Number of pages44
JournalEuropean Journal of Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Berlin/Jerusalem
  • History of the Jews in Spain
  • Jewish historiography
  • Salo W. Baron
  • Y.F. Baer


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