The Blessing and the Curse by Adam Kirsch audiobook

The Blessing and the Curse: The Jewish People and Their Books in the Twentieth Century

By Adam Kirsch
Read by Steven Jay Cohen

Tantor Audio 9780393652406
10.54 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781705265529

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From the vast emigration of Jews out of Eastern Europe to the Holocaust to the creation of Israel, the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. The same was true of Jewish writing: the novels, plays, poems, and memoirs of Jewish writers provided intimate access to new worlds of experience. Kirsch surveys four themes that shaped the twentieth century in Jewish literature and culture: Europe, America, Israel, and the endeavor to reimagine Judaism as a modern faith. With discussions of major books by over thirty writers—ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Tony Kushner, Hannah Arendt to Judith Plaskow—he argues that literature offers a new way to think about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world. With a wide scope and diverse, original observations, Kirsch draws fascinating parallels between familiar writers and their less familiar counterparts. While everyone knows the diary of Anne Frank, for example, few outside of Israel have read the diary of Hannah Senesh. Kirsch sheds new light on the literature of the Holocaust through the work of Primo Levi, explores the emergence of America as a Jewish home through the stories of Bernard Malamud, and shows how Yehuda Amichai captured the paradoxes of Israeli identity.

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Summary

Summary

New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

From the vast emigration of Jews out of Eastern Europe to the Holocaust to the creation of Israel, the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. The same was true of Jewish writing: the novels, plays, poems, and memoirs of Jewish writers provided intimate access to new worlds of experience.

Kirsch surveys four themes that shaped the twentieth century in Jewish literature and culture: Europe, America, Israel, and the endeavor to reimagine Judaism as a modern faith. With discussions of major books by over thirty writers—ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Tony Kushner, Hannah Arendt to Judith Plaskow—he argues that literature offers a new way to think about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world. With a wide scope and diverse, original observations, Kirsch draws fascinating parallels between familiar writers and their less familiar counterparts. While everyone knows the diary of Anne Frank, for example, few outside of Israel have read the diary of Hannah Senesh. Kirsch sheds new light on the literature of the Holocaust through the work of Primo Levi, explores the emergence of America as a Jewish home through the stories of Bernard Malamud, and shows how Yehuda Amichai captured the paradoxes of Israeli identity.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Excellent…Kirsch smoothly places the unprecedented events of the last century in a broad literary context that will help readers deepen understanding of them. Kirsch’s wide, trenchant reading of Jewish writings provides insight for lay readers and scholars alike.” Publishers Weekly
"[A] far-ranging survey…The focus throughout this illuminating and invaluable study is on secular modern Jewish writers from Central and Eastern Europe and their descendants.” Library Journal (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Adam Kirsch

Author Bio: Adam Kirsch

Adam Kirsch is the author of several books of poetry and criticism. A 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, he is an editor at the Wall Street Journal’s “Weekend Review” section and has written for publications including the New Yorker and Tablet.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Literary Collections
Runtime: 10.54
Audience: Adult
Language: English