By Ken Koltun-Fromm

How Jews take into consideration and paintings with gadgets is the topic of this attention-grabbing research of the interaction among fabric tradition and Jewish idea. Ken Koltun-Fromm attracts from philosophy, cultural reviews, literature, psychology, movie, and images to painting the vibrancy and richness of Jewish perform in the United States. His analyses of Mordecai Kaplan's obsession with magazine writing, Joseph Soloveitchik's city faith, Abraham Joshua Heschel's fascination with items in The Sabbath, and fabric identification within the works of Anzia Yezierska, Cynthia Ozick, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth, in addition to Jewish photos at the covers of Lilith journal and within the Jazz Singer movies, provide a groundbreaking method of an figuring out of contemporary Jewish concept and its relation to American tradition.

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22 The luxury of writing for (and perhaps to) oneself pales before the work of textual study. ”23 This intense focus on desires and the guilt evoked from them reflects some of the popular Freudian discourse that suffused America in the 1920s. ” Never before had the general public become so conscious about the unconscious. 26 As Joshua Liebman would argue some years later in his best seller, Peace of Mind (1946), it is better to express and recognize those impulses than to repress them. ”28 That journal writing “ought to have more value” suggests it does not, both for Kaplan and his professional colleagues.

According to Derrida, this is precisely what Freud has called for: Freud claimed that the murder of Moses effectively left archives, documents, symptoms in the Jewish memory and even in the memory of humanity. Only the texts of this archive are not readable according to the paths of “ordinary history” and this is the very relevance of psychoanalysis, if it has one. 80 Archives create lasting impressions even if immaterial and in forms unrecognizable to the historian. There are traces and supplements, even surpluses of meaning that create their own archives of memory.

Although he miscarries often (to use Kaplan’s gendered rhetoric), at least he does not prostitute himself by “spreading” throughout the learned periodicals. 31 Though his colleagues publish often, they fail, in Kaplan’s gendered division, to evoke that one essential male virtue: the production of the unique individual. Only Kaplan does this in his journal writings, for they expose the male desire to birth a reproduction of self. His colleagues spread themselves too thin, prostituting rather than producing the male self.

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