Joshua Cohen


Author Blog: Self-Surveillance

By Justin Taylor and Joshua Cohen

In this week’s installment of the Visiting Scribe, Joshua Cohen and Justin Taylor exchanged ideas around book promotion, materials of writing, and the devolution of the author. Read Part I here and Part II here.Their blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit: Read More


Author Blog: Quality Grumbling

By Justin Taylor and Joshua Cohen

In this installment of the Visiting Scribe,Joshua Cohen and Justin Taylor exchange ideas around book promotion, materials of writing, and the devolution of the author. Read Part One of their exchange here. Their blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit: Read More


Author Blog: A Necessary Evil

By Joshua Cohen and Justin Taylor

In this installment of the Visiting Scribe, Joshua Cohen and Justin Taylor exchange ideas around book promotion, materials of writing, and the devolution of the author. Their blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit: Read More


The Uxorious Egotist

By Joshua Cohen

The Uxorious Egotist
Stanley Elkin was not an autobiographical novelist. He never franchised fast-food restaurants (“The Franchiser”), wrestled professionally (“Boswell”), ferried terminally ill children to Disney World (“The Magic Kingdom”) or had sex with a bear (“The Making of Ashenden”).Read More


The Beaten Cannoneer

By Joshua Cohen

The Beaten Cannoneer
Literary criticism is literature that discusses other literature, situating whatever book or poem historically, while at the same time, relating the literary work to the extraliterary: to the other arts, or to the world in general. Book reviewing is much the same as criticism except shorter, and the function it serves is often as much literary as one of consumer guidance: I give Kerouac three stars, or four, or three-and-a-half; William Burroughs’s new novel about nude dining gets two thumbs up, “a must-read.”Read More






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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
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