So much about Jews in the Times Book Review this week. So much about what other people think about Jews though, mostly negative and stereotypical, ranging from the historical and philosophical to the fictional. And in all of this writing that surrounds Jews, so little about us as actual people, what makes us who we are beyond the accidents of tribal birth, what comprises our character, nature and talents.
One wonders why so many people pay so little attention to the actual Jews and expend so much venom and anger over their ideas of the Jews. And in all of this swirling animosity there is so little about real Jews as people even less about Judaism, the religion of our people, or about Jewish thought and culture in any secular respects.
All told, to be certain, this week in the TBR we have an agglomeration of reviews of books about the dysfunctional imaginations of people who hate their ideas of other people -- who they call "Jews." Nothing at all substantive about our actual ancestors or relatives or their thoughts contained here below in these several reviews or in the books that they consider.
The Jewish Question: British Anti-Semitism
‘Trials of the Diaspora’ By ANTHONY JULIUS Reviewed by HAROLD BLOOM
Anthony Julius’s fiercely relevant book on British anti-Semitism is particularly strong on Shylock, Fagin and the whole cavalcade of Jew-hatred in English literature.
The Jewish Question: Martin Heidegger
Books About Martin Heidegger By EMMANUEL FAYE and DANIEL MAIER-KATKIN Reviewed by ADAM KIRSCH
Martin Heidegger was undeniably a Nazi. But was his affiliation an “escapade,” as Hannah Arendt claimed, or is his philosophy itself fundamentally corrupt? Two new books reconsider the question.
Book Review Podcast Featuring Adam Kirsch on the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the Nazis; and Francine Prose on the life and stories of Irène Némirovsky.
Nietzsche: A Philosophy in Context
‘Friedrich Nietzsche’ By JULIAN YOUNG Reviewed by FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
A biography of Friedrich Nietzsche emphasizes the personal and historical circumstances that acted as backdrop to his ideas.
Irène Némirovsky’s Life and Stories Reviewed by FRANCINE PROSE
A biography of Irène Némirovsky and a collection of her stories raise questions about her relationship to her Jewish roots. Excerpts: ‘The Life of Irène Némirovsky’ | ‘Dimanche and Other Stories’