The history of anti-Semitism is sprawling and ugly. Here are some texts that put it all in context.
“Bad faith blinds us to the brute fact of our radical freedom.”
The triumph of Brexit and Trump is the lazy eye of a perfect storm: Populist fears seep through the cracks in the social contract. 2016 marked the return of the tribe, 2017 will show the force of the tribe in action.
70 years after the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Anti-Semite and Jew,” scholars are still debating whether Sartre was prescient or just plain ignorant.
Martin Heidegger’s existential philosophy has long been undermined by his Nazi sympathies. The forthcoming publication of his ‘Black Notebooks’ promise to reignite the controversy.
French writer and philosopher Benny Levy was best known as Jean-Paul Sartre’s private secretary. Now, Levy is being posthumously honored for his own achievements.
The Polish Jewish author Yuli Borisovich Margolin wrote the gulag memoir “Trip to the Land of Ze-kas,” translated into French in 2010. Its title refers to the Soviet secret police term “Ze-Ka” (or Z/K) for doomed prison laborers who were worked to death in the early 1930s. Margolin, a resident of Palestine who was arrested during a visit to Minsk, survived his imprisonment and returned to Palestine in 1946, where he wrote his memoir.
“Public Enemies,” far from being the “duel” suggested by the book’s subtitle, is in fact an act of mutual masturbation by two of France’s leading luminaries, Bernard-Henri Lévy and Michel Houellebecq (pronounced Wellbeck). In the book-length series of letters, the friends encourage each other to indulge in self-reflection. They talk about their fathers. They spar over Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. But mostly they trade notes on celebrity and use the opportunity to solidify their images.
In celebration of Jewish Book Month, The Arty Semite is partnering with the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) and the Jewish Book Council to present “30 Days, 30 Texts,” a series of reflections by community leaders on the books that influenced their Jewish journeys. Today, Rachel Brodie writes about “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number” by Jacobo Timerman.