Jean Starobinski, the Swiss literary theorist and historian, is still a productive bundle of energy at 92. He reflects on how his Polish Jewish roots influenced his achievements.
Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study has long been a center of intellectual Yiddishkeit. In 1930, American Jewish educator Abraham Flexner convinced department store magnate Louis Bamberger to donate five million dollars to build the Institute, and it soon acquired the mission of saving Europe’s Jewish thinkers from the Nazi menace.
The German-born Jewish physicist Wolfgang Panofsky confounds the general rule about offspring of geniuses being disappointments. Son of the eminent art historian Erwin Panofsky, Wolfgang was not just an accomplished scientist who made contributions to the Manhattan Project, but was also a delightfully witty man, as proven by a new paperback edition of his charming 2007 memoir, “Panofsky on Physics, Politics, and Peace: Pief Remembers,” out in November, 2010 from Springer Verlag.
A few weeks ago, at an absorbing lecture offered as part of the Morgan Library’s “Demons and Devotion: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves” exhibit which opened January 22 and runs through May 2, the art historian James Marrow explained the exquisite imagery found in the 15th-century Dutch illuminated manuscript on view. Included are such Old Testament scenes as The Judgment of Solomon; The Gathering of Manna; and Israelites Eating the Passover Meal. The exquisite exhibit catalog from Abrams Publishers contains these and related images, as well as essays by Marrow and other experts.