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By Ezra Cappell

Seems to be on the position of Jewish American fiction within the higher context of yankee culture.

In American Talmud, Ezra Cappell redefines the style of Jewish American fiction and areas it squarely in the greater context of yank literature. Cappell departs from the normal method of defining Jewish American authors exclusively by way of their ethnic origins and sociological constructs, and as a substitute contextualizes their fiction in the theological background of Jewish tradition. via intentionally emphasizing ancient and ethnographic hyperlinks to religions, spiritual texts, and traditions, Cappell demonstrates that twentieth-century and modern Jewish American fiction writers were codifying a brand new Talmud, an American Talmud, and argues that the literary creation of Jews in the USA can be obvious as yet another level of rabbinic remark at the scriptural inheritance of the Jewish humans.

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Extra info for American Talmud: The Cultural Work of Jewish American Fiction

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One might expect to find this work being exhibited at some underground neo-Nazi museum, yet what might surprise readers is that this show was exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York City. American Talmud, through tracing the dissolution of Holocaust images in twentieth-century and contemporary Jewish American fiction, attempts to understand how and why the Jewish cultural establishment 22 AMERICAN TALMUD promotes an assimilated Jewish artist like Tom Sachs who interchangeably uses the term “Holocaust” to describe the destruction of European Jewry as well as the “pressures” associated with postmodern fashion.

American Talmud, through tracing the dissolution of Holocaust images in twentieth-century and contemporary Jewish American fiction, attempts to understand how and why the Jewish cultural establishment 22 AMERICAN TALMUD promotes an assimilated Jewish artist like Tom Sachs who interchangeably uses the term “Holocaust” to describe the destruction of European Jewry as well as the “pressures” associated with postmodern fashion. How has a mainstream artist like Sachs been able to make use of the Holocaust to make frivolous claims about the role of fashion in postmodern culture, when just a generation or two ago barely anyone (least of all survivors) was even talking about the Holocaust at all?

But if it took the Holocaust to awaken Malamud to his neglected Jewish history, then will his Jewish identification be largely based upon a legacy of persecution and destruction? Furthermore, how are the two separate issues of the destruction of the Jewish people and the representation of the surviving remnants of that lost world dealt with in Malamud’s fiction? Theodore Solotaroff suggests that Malamud’s Jewishness, despite his Yiddish-drenched inflections, is in fact pure image—a useful representation of a moral life easily applicable to any religious or ethnic affiliation.

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