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Languages of CommunityThe Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands$
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Hillel Kieval

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520214101

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520214101.001.0001

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Epilogue A Sitting Room in Prague

Epilogue A Sitting Room in Prague

(p.217) Epilogue A Sitting Room in Prague
Languages of Community

Hillel J. Kieval

University of California Press

This chapter presents an anecdote concerning the return to Prague in 1964 of the writer Max Brod, following an absence of twenty-five years, and the informal gathering of four Jewish figures that took place in the sitting room of another Czech-Jewish writer, FrantiŠek Langer. It explains that the purpose of the anecdote, as originally recounted, had been to characterize certain Jewish “types” as emblematic of fateful historical choices made by Jews in the Czech lands: the Zionist (now living in Israel), the German-speaking Jew (now enjoying a renaissance of sorts under a liberalized Communist regime), the Czech-Jewish patriot (whose lot was thrown in with the fate of the Czech people in their struggles against external oppression), and the Communist (who recognized that the last, best path of Jewish integration, mobility, and collective security lay in social revolution).

Keywords:   anecdote, Prague, Max Brod, FrantiŠek Langer, Czech lands, Zionist, Communist, Jewish integration, social revolution

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