"Feeling Jewish" by Devorah Baum

Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just About Anyone) Devorah Baum

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
02 Jan 2018
ISBN:
9780300212440
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
296 pages: 210 x 140mm

So many of the feelings most famously associated with Jews—from self-hatred, guilt, paranoia, anxiety, and hysteria to overbearing maternal love—have often appeared negative. Are these just anti-Semitic stereotypes? If so, why do so many Jews, from Freud to Woody Allen, attest to their experiences in these very terms?
 
In this witty, insightful, and poignant book, Devorah Baum delves into fiction, film, memoir, and psychoanalysis to present a dazzlingly original exploration of the feelings with which modern Jews have been stereotyped. Ranging from Kafka to Philip Roth and from Anne Frank to Nathan Englander, she analyzes why so many Jews have indeed had these feelings, why they’re so often accused of these feelings, and why such feelings are increasingly common to us all as the pace of globalization leaves many marginalized, uprooted, and existentially threatened. In our hyperconnected yet ever more insecure world, who isn’t feeling, well . . . Jewish? And if we share these feelings, might they also be capable of uniting us?

Devorah Baum is lecturer in English literature and critical theory, University of Southampton, and affiliate researcher with the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations. She is the codirector of the creative documentary feature film The New Man. She lives in London, UK.

"Like the phenomenon it describes, this book is intellectually luminous, psychologically penetrating, existentially anxious, and wonderfully funny."—Zadie Smith
 

"Devorah Baum makes a brilliant case for 'Jewishness' as the definitive modern feeling: a set of concerns, arguments and passions that have burst the bounds of a single tribe, seeping into the general culture. Like the phenomenon it describes, this book is intellectually luminous, psychologically penetrating, existentially anxious, and wonderfully funny."—Zadie Smith