Half-Jewish Book: a Celebration
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A propos de cet article
Titre : Half-Jewish Book: a Celebration
Éditeur : Villard, NY
Date d'édition : 2000
Reliure : Hardcover
Illustrateur : Illustrated
Etat du livre :Near Fine
Etat de la jaquette : Near Fine Unclipped
Signé : Signed by Authors
Edition : 2nd Printing
Type de livre : Book
A propos de ce titre
It's happening fast: The population of half-Jews in America is well on its way to surpassing the population of full Jews. And with this population shift has come a revolutionary transformation of what it means to be half-Jewish. Sure, some people say that you are either Jewish or not, that there's nothing in between--but the authors emphatically disagree. They say half-Jews are a unique subculture of people who draw from both sides of their heritage and synthesize their cultural halves into a remarkable new identity.
The Half-Jewish Book celebrates this unique identity that until now has been ignored, maligned, and misunderstood. There's half-Jewish humor. Half-Jewish/half-Catholic Bill Maher: "I come from a mixed religious background--when I went to confession, I brought a lawyer with me." And there's half-Jewish beauty--Gwyneth Paltrow, Joan Collins, and Jane Seymour, just for starters. There are half-Jewish writers (Proust, Salinger), and half-Jewish characters in fiction by authors ranging from Philip Roth to Salman Rushdie. There's even that half-Jewish cartoon phenomenon Tommy Pickles, in Rugrats. There are half-Jewish politicians--Fiorello La Guar-dia, Barry Goldwater, Dianne Feinstein. And there are the extraordinary number of people, like General Wesley Clark, who discovered as adults that they were half-Jewish and then embraced their newfound double heritage.
This book includes an eye-opening essay on half-Jewish identity and looks into the often misunderstood history of half-Jews in the Holocaust. There are original interviews with half-Jews, as well as holiday cards and menus, poetry and song lyrics, and paintings and photographs. Intelligent, exuberant, entertaining, and thought-provoking, The Half-Jewish Book is a fascinating celebration of a cultural mix that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
The premise of The Half-Jewish Book is simple if somewhat controversial: Being half-Jewish is a quality unto itself, sui generis. Half-Jewishness is a cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic mix that is, in a variety of ways, greater than the sum of its parts.
To take this position--and to revel in the celebration that follows from it--we stand in clear opposition to those who insist: "You are either Jewish or you are not; there's nothing in between." And we compound this blasphemy by suggesting that there is something unique, remarkable, and downright dazzling about the half-Jewish mind and the half-Jewish face, about the art and wit created by half-Jewish sensibilities, and in the ethical, literary, and political ideas produced from the half-Jewish perspective.
Enough already about the "half-Jewish problem" as the tragic product of intermarriage. It is time to explore the unique and fascinating world of the half-Jew.
--from the Introduction
The Half-Jewish Book is Daniel Klein and Freke Vuijst's amalgamation of humorous essays, interviews, illustrations, holiday menus, and song lyrics--all gathered in service of the idea that a half-Jew is Jew enough. This, even though "[half-Jews] are lamented as the first generational step toward the extinction of all Jews in America" and denied various sorts of recognition as Jews by various factions within Judaism. "[A]s if all that were not enough, they can never figure out how to decorate their living rooms come mid-December." Klein and Vuijst make no effort to discipline the argument of their book. Instead, they present an exuberant, entertaining, rambling paean to half-Judaism's beautiful (Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Newman) and brilliant (J.D. Salinger, Marcel Proust); they rattle off the half-Jew's distinctive traits (as regard sports, intellect, and drinking, for instance); and they consider the wide range of other-halves that a half-Jew may contain (Lenny Kravitz is described as a "Jewlatto"). --Michael Joseph Gross
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