by Justine Poustchi · 02/26/12
Alan Brit sheds light on the Frankists: Polish Jews who converted to Catholicism to gain rights and land in the 18th Century. Brit reveals a brand of Catholicism that deeply reflected Jewish roots in its acknowledgement of the importance of the Sabbath and a vague sense of kashrut.
In response to harsh criticism of the religiosity of the Israeli public, Dr. Samuel Lebens warns against “oversimplification of theism,” and advocates a deeper understanding of Jewish literature as an imaginative tool to promote change from within.
Relics of Totalitarianism
Recently, Poland has been turning its attention to its complicated past. The rising generation is ready to ask “inconvenient questions” through film, literature, and the establishment of the Institute of National Remembrance.
Architectural plans for Hitler’s imagined capital city, Germania, reveal not only a grand fantasy but also a pervading misanthropy. Robert Moorhouse looks at the fraction that was completed and the devastation that enabled its creation.
Imre Kertész’s reflections on Nazism and totalitarianism continue to be brought to English readers by the independent publisher Melville House. Sohrab Ahmari takes a look at Roberto Bolaño’s “The Third Reich,” as the author pushes the boundaries of literary interpretation of Nazism by constructing a character who fetishizes the Third Reich and then challenging his character to a board game.
Voices of the Literary Past
As a part of the New Yorker’s Fiction Podcast Series, Nicole Krauss reads Bruno Schulz’s story “Father’s Last Escape”: a surreal musing on “the genealogy of spirits.”
Another look at Joseph Roth’s letters probe deep into his complex political persuasions as both a socialist and a monarchist who dreamed perpetually of yesteryear.
This Friday, Annie Kantar will be reading from her translations of Israeli poet Leah Goldberg at NYU.