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In this sparkling debut, a young critic offers an original, passionate, and erudite account of what it means to feel Jewish—even when you’re not. Self-hatred. Guilt. Resentment. Paranoia. Hysteria. Overbearing Mother-Love. In this witty, insightful, and poignant book, Devorah Baum delves into fiction, film, memoir, and psychoanalysis to present a dazzlingly original exploration of a series of feelings famously associated with modern Jews. Reflecting on why Jews have so often been depicted, both by others and by themselves, as prone to “negative” feelings, she queries how negative these feelings really are. And as the pace of globalization leaves countless people feeling more marginalized, uprooted, and existentially threatened, she argues that such “Jewish” feelings are becoming increasingly common to us all. Ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Sarah Bernhardt to Woody Allen, Anne Frank to Nathan Englander, Feeling Jewish bridges the usual fault lines between left and right, insider and outsider, Jew and Gentile, and even Semite and anti-Semite, to offer an indispensable guide for our divisive times.
The Jewish joke is as old as Abraham, and like the Jews themselves it has wandered over the world, learned countless new languages, worked with a range of different materials, been performed in front of some pretty hostile crowds, but still retained its own distinctive identity. So what is it that animates the Jewish joke? Why are Jews so often thought of as 'funny'? And how old can a joke get? The Jewish Joke is a brilliant - and very funny - riff on Jewish jokes, about what marks them apart from other jokes, why they are important to Jewish identity and how they work. Ranging from self-deprecation to anti-Semitism, politics to sex, it looks at the past of Jewish joking and asks whether the Jewish joke has a future. With jokes from Woody Allen, Lena Dunham and Jerry Seinfeld, as well as Freud and Marx (Groucho mostly), this is both a compendium and a commentary, light-hearted and deeply insightful.
"Saving Remnants provides a series of honest and clear-minded portraits of young American Jews trying to confront what it means to be Jewish."--Irving Howe, author of World of Our Fathers "You don't have to be Jewish to be fascinated and challenged by this sensitive, profoundly intelligent book. Saving Remnants is about Jewishness, but it is also about all of us, searching for 'identity' on a menu that includes New Age epiphanies along with old-time religions and instant 'traditions.'"--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Fear of Falling
Guest-edited by Devorah Baum and Josh Appignanesi We're living through hysterical times. Rage, resentment, shame, guilt and paranoia are everywhere surfacing, as is the intemperate adoration or hatred of popular but divisive public figures. Political discourse suffers when people seem to trust only what they feel and can no longer be swayed by reason or facts. If extreme feelings are a contagion within the political cultures of today, so too is the spread of a kind of affectlessness, as if we're starting to resemble the very technologies that threaten to replace us. Featuring vital new fiction, non-fiction, photography and poetry from across the globe, this issue is all about how our feelings make our politics, and how our politics make us feel. Adam Phillips, in conversation, analyses politics in the consulting room David Baddiel probes the outrage of life online Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor witnesses devastation Anouchka Grose on becoming a social justice warrior Peter Pomerantsev unearths his data profile to conduct sentiment analysis Poppy Sebag-Montefiore on China's public sense of touch Fabin Martnez Siccardi on growing up in Patagonia Margie Orford explores shame in South Africa Josh Cohen inspects his own apathy Hisham Matar reflects on Joseph Conrad and Edward Said Hanif Kureishi on Keith Johnstone and Keith Jarrett William Davies on affective politics Chloe Aridjis revisits the wild nights of her teenage years in Mexico City PLUS FICTION: Benjamin Markovits, Olga Tokarczuk and Joff Winterhart POETRY: Alissa Quart and Nick Laird PHOTOGRAPHY: Diana Matar, introduced by Max Houghton Devorah Baum is associate professor in English literature at the University of Southampton. She is the author of Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just About Anyone) and The Jewish Joke, and co-director of the documentary feature film The New Man. Josh Appignanesi is a film-maker whose directing credits include the feature films Female Human Animal, The Infidel, The New Man and Song Of Songs. He is a lecturer in Film at Roehampton University, and teaches at the London Film School and other institutions.
Heard the one about the Rabbi and the cow from Minsk? Look no further than this witty compendium, a fascinating and revealing celebration of the great Jewish Joke. Comedy is full of famously funny Jews, from Groucho Marx to Sarah Silverman, from Larry David to Jerry Seinfeld. This smart and funny book includes tales from many of these much-loved comics, and will appeal to their broad audience, while revealing the history, context and wider culture of Jewish joking. The Jewish joke is as old as Abraham, and like the Jews themselves it has wandered over the world, learned countless new languages, worked with a range of different materials, been performed in front of some pretty hostile crowds, and yet still retained its own distinctive identity. So what is it that animates the Jewish joke? Why are Jews so often thought of as ‘funny’? And how old can a joke get? The Jewish Joke is a brilliant—and laugh-out-loud funny—riff on about what marks Jewish jokes apart from other jokes, why they are important to Jewish identity and how they work. Ranging from self-deprecation to anti-Semitism, politics to sex, Devorah Baum looks at the history of Jewish joking and asks whether the Jewish joke has a future. With jokes from Lena Dunham to Woody Allen, as well as Freud and Marx (Groucho, mostly), Baum balances serious research with light-hearted humor and provides fascinating insight into this well-known and much loved cultural phenomenon.
Like many Jews of our generation, Jon Stratton grew up in a family more concerned about assimilation than about preserving Jewish tradition. While he could easily 'pass' among non-Jews, he found himself increasingly torn between his fear of not belonging and a deeply-felt commitment to his family's past. Coming Out Jewish examines the unique challenge of constructing an identity amid the clash between ethnicity and conformity. For many Jews, the idea of full assimilation ended with the Holocaust. But the pressure to adapt to the mainstream, Stratton eloquently argues, remains powerful, especially for those with anglicized names, assimilationist parents, a history of recent immigration, or ambivalent experiences of themselves as Jews. With reference to the work of Daniel Boyarin, Ien Ang, and Homi Bhabha, among others, Stratton offers fresh analysis on a wide range of topics, including the Jewish origins of pluralism in the US, anti-Semitism in Germany, the Jewishness of sitcoms like Seinfeld, and the Yiddishization of American culture since World War II. More than a book about Jews and Jewishness, Coming Out Jewish smartly and accurately mines the Jewish experience in the West to give voice to the issues of migration, Diaspora, assimilation and identity that affect those, displaced and 'othered', around the world.

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