Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Myth of Jewish Literature

One of the persistent problems of Jewish Arts & Culture arbiters is their need, consciously or unconsciously, to maintain that the myth of the Immigrant Jewish Experience as the most authentic Jewish American Experience. This, despite the fact that most American Jews are third generation Americans who haven't chosen the either/or options of one world of the other, and are beyond assimiliation or acculturation, or are even negotiating their Jewish identities, but are rather just living their lives as American Jews.

This explains the persistent (and possibly prurient) interest in Russian Jewish immigrant authors. Because Russian immigrant authors writings can be used to connect to the"glory days" of Malamud, Roth, Bellows, at al.

UPDATE: Incidentally, there is an unusually good piece dissecting Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle in the Sunday Times a week ago as illuminating how identity plays out in America & in American culture today.

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