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Herzl, Theodor

(1860-1904) Hungarian author, founder of Zionism in its modern form, perhaps most significantly in his nonfiction Der Judenstaat: Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage ["The Jewish State: Proposal of a Modern Solution for the Jewish Question"] (1896 chap). The title of Simone Zelitch's novel, Judenstaat (2016), is taken directly from this work.

Herzl's fiction was also influential, beginning with the fictionalized speculative Alternate History tale, "Der Unterhimer Bounaparte" ["Bonaparte the Entrepreneur"] (3 June 1900 Neue Freie Presse), Napoleon leaves the army in 1796 and becomes a magnate, but overreaches in this world as well. Herzl's only sustained work of fiction, Altneuland (1902; trans Lotta Levensohn as Old-New Land 1941), is a Future History – the point of view being that of a typical visitor-to-Utopia figure in 1902 and 1923 – describing the successful establishment of a secular state in Palestine, where Jews and Arabs dwelt together in peace. By 1923, Palestine has become a high-Technology Utopia, its main Power Source being electricity. The title of the 1902 Yiddish translation by Naham Sokolow was Tel Aviv. [JC]

see also: Austria; Israel.

Theodor Herzl

born Pest, Austria-Hungary: 2 May 1860

died Edlach, Austria-Hungary: 3 July 1904


about the author


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 18:14 pm on 4 October 2022.