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Alfred Bodenheimer's concise and thoughtful monograph is a pioneering attempt at systematically exploring the tensions between Else Lasker-Schüler's self-concept as a Jew and her relationship to the Jewish homeland. Bodenheimer examines the unresolved incommensurability between the poet's pre-1933 depictions of Israel as a kind of longed for mystical other-world and her personal encounters with the reality of Palestine during her visits and exile there from 1934 on. Else Lasker-Schüler made a total of three trips to Palestine over the last eleven years of her life and her third voyage in 1939 was to be the final one. Suspended between two worlds, the German one that had cast her out and the Jewish one that never became her own, she died in a Jerusalem hospital in January 1945. What evolves in Bodenheimer's analysis of Lasker- Schüler's emigration and exile is that her relationship to Palestine reflects in essence the multilevelled intersections of her life, identity and poetic vision. Using an interpretive approach he somewhat labels Bodenheimer analyzes the relationship between the poet's work and life from 1933 to 1945.

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Copyright © 1996 University of Kentucky. This article first appeared in Colloquia Germanica 29:4 (1996), 381-383.

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