Arts & Culture


The Aphorism Master

By Joshua Cohen

Yes damns no. No postpones yes. Tragic facts don’t exist. The magic of fiction lies in deluding reason that it is fiction.

All ways lead to the wayfarer. The long lineage of literature’s shortest form, the aphorism, extends from the mythical Hippocrates of Greek antiquity, through the Renaissance, Erasmus and Paracelsus, into theRead More


Seeing Gray in a Black-and-white World Francine Prose Turns the Screws on the Self-righteous

By Jenifer Berman

A Changed Man By Francine Prose HarperCollins, 432 pages, $24.95. ——-You’d think that Francine Prose might be losing some steam. After more than a dozen novels and a handful of short fiction and nonfiction works, it would stand to reason that this National Book Award-nominated author might be a prime candidate for writerly malaise,Read More


A New Novel Tears Down a Sacred Shrine

By Peter Manseau

One of the more surprising moments in recent music history comes midway through the celebrated 1998 indie rock album “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” by the band Neutral Milk Hotel. Hiding in otherwise understated tune are some startling lyrics:Read More

                      I know they buried her body with others
Her sister and mother and five hundred families

                    

A Theory of Everything

By Jay Michaelson

Franz Rosenzweig is one of the most mentioned and least read of the Jewish philosophers. Everyone with an interest in modern Jewish philosophy includes him in its highest circle, along with Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Emanuel Levinas and, if religious philosophers are included, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rav Kook and Joseph Soloveitchik. But whileRead More


A Critic Hears False Notes in Music History

By Raphael Mostel

One of the liveliest and most remarkable books about music was published this year. In “The Oxford History of Western Music,” iconoclastic University of California, Berkeley, professor Richard Taruskin offers a 4,000-page, six-volume survey of everything there is to know about Western classical music. For one person to encompass the vast rangeRead More


Bright Lights, Little Village: Jews in Small-town America

By Glenn C. Altschuler

    • *‘A baker who can make kimmel bread and German rolls (bagels, too, I suppose) can do well in Kalamazoo,” a field agent for the Industrial Removal Office of the Baron de Hirsch Fund reported in 1907. A junk dealer in Ashland, Ky., he added three years later, would gladly replace the Negro who worked in his yard with a Jew.Jews, it is well

‘Prophet’s Dilemma’ From ‘Beware of God,’ by Shalom Auslander

NOVEL JEWS Each month, in coordination with our reading series in New York, the Forward publishes an excerpt from the work of that month’s series guest or guests. This month, we will feature readings by Shalom Auslander and Leelila Strogov (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen to highlight is “Prophet’sRead More


Neta Gain; A Choreographer Returns for Her Encore

By Rose Anne Thom

Choreographer Neta Pulver- macher has aptly named her new season, which runs from May 11 to May 22 in New York at The Flea Theater, “NETRO: A Neta Dance Company Retrospective.” “I graduated from The Juilliard School in 1985 and started working right away. This season is a milestone — 20 years,” she noted in an interview with the Forward.Read More


Doomed Love and Melancholy

By Aaron Hamburger

Publishers are notoriously reluctant to take on story collections, perhaps in part because unlike novels, a story collection has to justify its own existence. It isn’t enough for a story collection to be well written, poignant and intelligent. Why, readers ask themselves, have these eight to 12 stories been juxtaposed between theRead More


The Imagination’s Many Rooms

By Sanford Pinsker

Jay Neugeboren’s “News From the New American Diaspora and Other Tales of Exile” is not only a cause for celebration in its own right but also an occasion to look back at Neugeboren’s long — and varied — career at the writing desk.Neugeboren’s short stories have been much honored, appearing in some 50 anthologiesRead More


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