Q&A


Anarchic Revolution and Traditional Judaism

By Yoel Matveev

A new translation of Gustav Landauer’s “Revolution and Other Writings: A Political Reader” by Gabriel Kuhn brings his highly influential texts to an English-speaking audience. Landauer is known not only as a revolutionary, but also as a prominent mystical philosopher, a literary critic and a translator. The Forvert’s Yoel Matveev spoke to Kuhn about Landauer, his legacy and his appeal.Read More


'Shoah' Did Not Age

By Dan Friedman

In 1985, Claude Lanzmann released “Shoah,” a 550-minute epic film that changed the way people understood the Holocaust and the relation between history and cinema. Traveling through many countries Lanzmann recorded, in many languages, tens of people who were witness to different aspects of the systematic extermination of European Jewry. Now 85 years old, and with energy but not spirit dimmed, Lanzmann is celebrating his 2009 biography “Le Lièvre de Patagonie (“The Patagonian Hare,”)” and the 25th anniversary of “Shoah.” He spoke to Dan Friedman, arts and culture editor of the Forward.Read More


Discovering Kafka and Rabbi Nachman

By Dan Friedman

Arts and culture editor Dan Friedman interviewed award-winning poet and author Rodger Kamenetz, whose new book about his physical and spiritual pilgrimage, “Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka” (Schocken/Nextbook), charts a path between literature and religion. The Arty Semite is now featuring excerpts and reviews from Kamenetz’s Psalm 151 series.Read More


Cooking Up a Novel With Katharine Weber

By Beth Kissileff

Katharine Weber is the author of the award-winning novel, “Triangle” about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Her new novel, “True Confections,” plays with the characters’ and readers’ sense of truth. In the spirit of protagonist Alice Tatnall Ziplinsky, the narrator of “True Confections,” the following interview may not have happened exactly as written. But these words nevertheless record truth and were approved by Weber.Read More


Before Zero Hour: A Q&A with Jim Brochu

By Gwen Orel

Award-winning drama “Zero Hour” deals with the life of actor and comedian Samuel “Zero” Mostel. Most famous for his stage version of Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Mostel was a complicated character who was at work in showbusiness at the darkest hour of the blacklist. Gwen Orel spoke to Jim Brochu who wrote the play and, to all intents and purposes, is Zero Mostel on stage at the Theatre at St. Clement’s, Off-Broadway, seven days a week about how Brochu came to write the play and what the reaction of Mostel’s family has been.Read More


Honor and Comfort

By Noach Dzmura

How one organization helps Jews honor and comfort the dead.Read More


Not Science Fiction

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Imagine worshipping a writer in early life, then becoming an essential force in preserving his work. This is Jonathan Lethem’s labor of love, to keep us reading Philip K. Dick. A music aficionado and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Lethem now has his own vast canon — seven novels, numerous stories, a novella, a comic book and more. His personal success makes this posthumous relationship unique. In choosing four of Dick’s later novels — “A Maze of Death,” “Valis,” “The Divine Invasion” and “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer” — to edit and contextualize, Lethem hoped to revise the common thinking that Dick’s science psychedelia and religion writings were separate trajectories entirely; rather, he proposes that they came from the same fruitful place.Read More


Dreams of the Displaced

By Peter Ephross

In the aftermath of World War II, roughly 250,000 Jews — most of them Holocaust survivors — lived in displaced persons camps in Europe. Many of these people were attracted to Zionism, and about two-thirds of them eventually would move to British Mandate Palestine or to Israel. In his new book, “Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust” (Wayne State University Press), Avinoam J. Patt, who holds the Philip D. Feltman Chair in Modern Jewish History at the University of Hartford, explores the role that Zionism played in the lives of the refugees, particularly among the younger generation. Peter Ephross spoke with Patt recently about Zionism’s appeal to displaced persons, and the controversy stoked by Israeli historians on the topic.Read More


Letting Go of a Dark Thing

By Dan Friedman

Boaz Yakin is the award-winning director of “Fresh” (1994), “Price Above Rubies” (1998) and “Remember the Titans” (2000). His latest film, “Death in Love” — which he not only wrote, produced and directed, but also funded with his life savings — has just been released to mixed reviews. It deals with the psychological traumas that get passed down through the generations of a family whose matriarch (played by Jacqueline Bisset) is a Holocaust survivor. Her time in the concentration camp was spent as the imprisoned but somewhat accommodating lover of a Nazi doctor there, and that complex and pathological legacy is transmitted to her two sons. The Forward’s Dan Friedman spoke with Yakin recently about the genesis of “Death in Love,” the film’s purposefully assaultive nature and why he thinks the Holocaust plays too big a role in shaping Diaspora identity.Read More


Bringing Up Kids in America

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Sam Apple is a modern journeyman who curiously encounters the world with pen in hand. First, he trailed a Yiddish-singing sheepherder through tiny villages in Austria to write “Schlepping Through the Alps.” Now, Apple tackles the bug-eyed wow of becoming a first-time father in his new memoir, “American Parent.”Read More





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