Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ is more than the story of a man becoming an insect; it is a prophecy of the rise of anti-Semitism.
This month Anne Roiphe revisits Cynthia Ozick’s first “Puttermesser” story and creates a hilarious fable of sexual tumult and moral decay.
Mad Magazine, Prague and the Kabbalah are among the many influences for artist Mark Podwal, whose work is on display at the Museum at Eldridge Street.
Philip Roth’s “Conversion of the Jews” anticipated a lifetime of battle among Roth, Jews and America itself. Anne Roiphe says that it is a battle Roth ultimately won.
Delmore Schwartz published “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” in the Partisan Review in 1935 at the age of 21. It’s as powerful now as it was then — maybe even more so.
Isaac Loeb Peretz’s “Bontche Schweig” is one of those tales that deepens and provokes more as history bears down on it. Anne Roiphe revisits a brave story that is anything but a lullaby.
In “Sister Hills,” two religious families move to opposite hills outside the Green Line above a Palestinian village. Ann Roiphe examines why Nathan Englander’s parable of Israeli occupation is so powerful.
In the inaugural installment of “Reading With Roiphe,” Anne Roiphe delves into the layers of complexity in Bernard Malamud’s classic 1959 “The Magic Barrel,” in which traditional and modern notions of love collide.
Everyone says we are The People of the Book. This is true enough, and rather comforting, but we are also The People of the story. From the beginning we have told tales, short tales, of what is and what was and who hated whom and why, who loved whom when perhaps they shouldn’t. (Oh, poor flawed King David). We knitted our stories together into scrolls and scriptures and serious-sounding texts, but we never forgot the characters or the plots. In addition, we had variations in the Midrash, delicious tales of Rebecca falling off her camel and losing her virginity on a prickly bush, or Abraham smashing his father’s idols. We have stories of magic prophets, fables of marauding Cossacks and tales of jealous sisters, each with something the other didn’t have.
As more than half of America’s governors vow to keep Syrian refugees out, Anne Roiphe says it’s our Jewish responsibility to show the country another way.