Literature

Can a psychoanalyst see through you?

By Rebecca Abrams, April 4, 2013

Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions
By Stephen Frosh

Have you ever seen a ghost? Or felt that an event in your past needed laying to rest? Or had a strong premonition something was going to happen before it actually did? Or caught sight of your reflection in a shop window and for a moment failed to recognise yourself?

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Brothers and others

By Moris Farhi, April 4, 2013

Exposure
By Sayed Kashua (Trans: Mitch Ginsburg)

Deliberations on our individuality, our place in the world — whether or not our attitudes towards social, political and religious responsibilities offer acceptable meanings to life — have been major themes in literature since Antiquity.

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Chomsky, sophistry champion

By Oliver Kamm, March 28, 2013

Among Jewish contributors to modern intellectual life, few carry as much name-recognition as Noam Chomsky. Visiting London last week, he drew enthusiastic crowds to a lecture given in honour of Edward Said, the Palestinian literary critic, and an interview at the British Library with Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian columnist and my fellow JC contributor.

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Violence takes Israel in the right direction

By Colin Shindler, March 22, 2013

The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right
By Ami Pedahzur
Oxford University Press, £18.99

In 1969, 32 per cent of the Israeli electorate voted for the centre right and its allies. Forty years later, this had increased to more than 52 per cent, securing the premiership for Netanyahu. Israeli academic Ami Pedahzur tells the story of this remarkable transition.

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Perplexed guide for life

By Natasha Lehrer, March 22, 2013

How Should a Person Be?
By Sheila Heti
Harvill Secker, £16.99

This book crashed like a kind of meteorite into the literary landscape when it was published last year in the US. It was hailed as a major literary work of extraordinary originality — and has now been longlisted in the UK for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (successor to the Orange).

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Segal's The Innocents up against Mantel for Women's Prize

By Jennifer Lipman, March 13, 2013

A novelist who brought to life the quirks and peculiarities of Jewish life in north west London is in the running for the top prize given to female writers in the UK.

Francesca Segal is one of 20 novelists shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction – formerly the Orange Prize – which comes with a £30,000 cheque and the chance of increased publicity and book sales.

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Wise and innocent

By Ray Filar, March 8, 2013

Childhood innocence trembles in Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s bitter-sweet, wartime novella and international best-seller, Noah’s Child (Atlantic, £7.99,). Six-year-old Joseph is sent by his Belgian parents to live with existentialist priest Father Pons, who hides Jewish boys from the Gestapo inside his Christian orphanage.

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Atlantic cross currents

By Robert Low, March 8, 2013

Frederic Raphael and Joseph Epstein are both distinguished Jewish writers in their 70s, Raphael is a novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter; Epstein a fine essayist, superb short-story writer and some-time academic and editor.

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Visions of death in the colours of life

By Moris Farhi, March 8, 2013

The Metropolis of Death (a fitting designation for the Auschwitz complex) offers reflections on the Holocaust by the eminent, Czech-born Israeli historian, Otto Dov Kulka.

Kulka was transferred, when still a boy of 10, from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he miraculously survived in Block BIIb — the “family camp”— for 15 months.

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Is anything OK with your meal?

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2013

Our people, as we all know, love to do three things: eat, talk, and complain.

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