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On Marriage

On Marriage

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JA: But again, not as much as in America – the cool, young, sort of ‘hipster Judaism’ that is huge in America.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products.And yet in saying that, they didn’t realise the awful implication of their words, which was that they took Shylock to be not an anti-Semitic representation of a Jew, but a realistic one. Because marriage doesn't always bring out the best in us, it makes us wonder what the best in us might be.

Because you see how Jews have prospered there, with that psychology that there is a chance to start anew. They feel nobody sees the brilliance that goes into creating comedy, and how deep and wise what they’re saying is in comic form. Of course, Jews have done what they have done everywhere also in the UK – which is to transcend class. DB: I think perhaps one thing that I would say to that is that in the British culture, Jews are conspicuous by their kind of emotional incontinence.There are all kinds of closed spaces that I respect, but I also recognize that tribalism, in the way we’re seeing it at the moment, is so… toxic. Baum herself has tackled the subject before, in a different medium; together with her husband, Josh Appignanesi, she is the co-creator of two films, The New Man and Husband, documentary (mockumentary? Often you find they’re very funny, and then the moment they’re not being funny, you find that they’re awfully serious – a little bit too serious. DB: In the introduction to my book I’m interested in whether there’s much of a difference, really, between a word that you whisper – which tends to be the British way – and one that you’re required to shout out – in a declamatory, American way.

And also because, for Jews in particular, the idea of the EU often has less to do with a free-trade organisation than with keeping the peace in Europe, and the desire to just be able to move elsewhere if you ever need to. There’s almost nobody I meet these days where I can’t very quickly detect the form their resentment takes – that is, the way in which they feel they’re not being heard, as if they’re being somehow silenced or marginalised, or as if their case isn’t permitted.

But the answer isn’t that everybody gets to have power, but that everybody gets to feel the degree to which power is a fantasy. At the core of OCLW's new programme on Writing Jewish Women's Lives, our new series of afternoon literary seminars are a chance to discuss books by and about Jewish women. EV: The point that you’re making in your book Feeling Jewish : A Book for Just About Anyone (2017), that Jewishness is kind of short-hand for urbanism, for modernity, in some kind of way.

Particularly when it becomes tyrannical, when you really can’t afford not to be witty – then we know something must be up, right? With Josh Appignanesi she co-directed the creative documentary feature film The New Man (2016) and the feature film Husband (2023). With Josh Appignanesi, her spouse, she is both co-director and performer in the documentaries The New Man and Husband.Why, then, she wonders, has there been so little serious intellectual engagement with the idea of marriage? But the way I’m diagnosing resentment is as a more or less unavoidable aspect of globalisation and its discontents. For anyone who has experienced, contemplated or rejected it, On Marriage offers a fascinating exploration of an institution that, for better or worse, “continues to shape and carry our human story”. In my public events for the book, I’ve been talking quite a bit about envy because I consider it to be the feeling that is hardest to admit, hardest to share – it’s the most scandalous and the most morally disapproved of.



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