Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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The schlemiel is a versatile figure who became widely known during the 20th century as the embodiment of Yiddish and, by association, diasporic Jewish (Diaspora) existence par excellence. Typical traits of the schlemiel are naivety as well as the versatility that allows him to alleviate his suffering. The schlemiel type can be traced back to sources from antiquity; during the early modern age he w…

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DeKoven, Sidra, “Schlemiel”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 04 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0781>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20221116

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