This paper aims to contribute to a theoretical, as opposed to a historical, understanding of the dynamics of assimilation by elucidating some of the paradoxes of imitative situations through recourse to Genette’s theory of hypertextuality. The difference between the two textual modalities of “forgery” and “fake” is shown to be relevant to the anti-Semites’ attitudes towards assimilated Jews, and the anxiety generated by the blurring of fundamental social distinctions which is a consequence of undetected imitative practices is shown to be a component in the “new anti-Semitism” which arose after Emancipation.

issue 14 / December 2018 by Carmen Dell'Aversano