Arts & Culture


Ultra-problematic

By Philologos

‘Thousands of Israeli ultranationalists rallied Tuesday against a Gaza pullout,” began a Reuters news dispatch on Wednesday, August 3. Is this an accurate or a biased description on Reuters’s part?“Ultra” is an odd prefix because it can have either a positive, negative or neutral connotation depending on what word it goes with.Read More


Kubrick’s Unrealized Vision

By A.J. Goldmann

When Stanley Kubrick died in March 1999 during the post-production of his final film, “Eyes Wide Shut,” he left behind several pet projects he had been working on for decades. These included a science-fiction riff on “Pinocchio” (later finished by Steven Spielberg as “A.I.”), a historical biopic of the life ofRead More


Wild at Heart

By David Kaufmann

Maurice Sendak, the focus of a retrospective running at The Jewish Museum in New York until August 14, is the poet laureate of ambivalence. In a career of more than 50 years spent writing and illustrating children’s books, he has largely managed to avoid the sentimentalizing idealization that ruins so much of our thinking about kids. HisRead More


Masada’s Jazz Legacy Endures

By Fred Kaplan

John Zorn’s Masada is one of the tightest, wittiest, most energetic, most appealing — simply one of the best — jazz bands to emerge in the past 15 years. So it’s no wonder that Zorn, a man as cleverly entrepreneurial as he is creatively passionate, should turn the name into an infinitely expansive genre.The band cut its finalRead More


Forced March

By Miklos Radnoti

Crazy. He stumbles, flops, gets up, and trudges on again.

He moves his ankles and his knees like one wandering pain,

then sallies forth, as if a wing lifted him where he went,

and when the ditch invited him in, he dare not give consent,and if you were to ask why not? perhaps his answer is

a woman waits, a death more wise,more beautifulRead More


Windy City Offers a Window Into the Heart of America

By Saul Austerlitz

The Washington Story By Adam Langer Riverhead Books, 416 pages, $24.95. * * *Once may have been an honest mistake, but twice, it must be a trend. Adam Langer’s second novel is titled “The Washington Story,” though it has little to do with our nation’s capital — just as his debut, “Crossing California,” took placeRead More


Forced March

By Dan Kaufman

Sometime in early 1946, about one year after the Red Army liberated Hungary, local officials in the western Hungarian town of Abda unearthed a mass grave filled with the decomposing corpses of 22 Jewish slave laborers. Among the bodies lay the 35-year-old Hungarian-Jewish poet Miklós Radnóti, executed in November 1944 by a bullet to the neckRead More


The Dreaded ‘T-Word’

By Philologos

At least no one can say that someone at the British Broadcasting Corporation, better known as the BBC, isn’t consistent. After being criticized for years for its refusal to use the word “terrorists” to describe those folks who, generally of the Islamic persuasion, make a habit of doing things like flying airplanes into the Twin Towers orRead More


These Are the Journeys

By Judy Bolton-Fasman

The last portion in the Book of Numbers, Mas’ei, begins with an ancient version of a Triple-A guidebook:“These are the journeys of the Children of Israel, who went forth from the land of Egypt according to their legions, under Moses and Aaron.” (Numbers 33:1)During their 40-year sojourn, the Israelites decamped in 42 places — all of themRead More


Plumbing Berlin for Yiddish Fiction

By Nathaniel Popper

The Shadows of Berlin:

The Berlin Stories of Dovid Bergelson By Dovid Bergelson,Translated by Joachim Neugroschel City Lights Publishers, 120 pages, $14.95. * * *Berlin’s role as the capital of Nazi Germany has crowded out most other memories of the city’s 20th-century Jewish history. In the 1920s, though, the city was a placeRead More


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