It’s no secret that we here at the Yiderati respect and enjoy the works of Adam Kirsch, and boy what a great week for Kirsch and his fans. First off, a stellar, well crafted, expert essay on the poetry of William Carlos Williams for the New York Review of Books. Next, perhaps in descending order of prestigious magazines, Kirsch writes on the revival of the 20th century Jewish writer, Joseph Roth, for The New Republic. Lastly, something we posted earlier this week, Kirsch wrote a very interesting, but in my thought, incomplete state of the union on Jewish literature in a review of Nathan Englander’s upcoming book of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank for Tablet Magazine. Slow down Mr. Kirsch!
Moving on from the world of literature to the world of music and movies, Alex Ross, perhaps our nation’s best music critic, has written an excellent piece on appreciating the gnomic Jewish composer Philip Glass in the wake of a new symphony and Glass’s 75th birthday.
Slate’s great series, The Completist, in which a writer completes a director’s entire oeuvre, takes on the Coen Brothers this week with very playful and insightful results. Great read. Lastly, I know we here at Jewcy talk a lot about our man Leonard Cohen, but anytime someone makes the claim that Cohen lyrical abilities transcends those of the other great Jewish bard, Bobby Zimmerman, I think we should all read the argument. (Ok, not necessarily for the Yiderati, but how many bar and bat mitzvahs have been uplifted by the music of Michael Jackson. Here, Andrew Vogel, writing for the Atlantic, discusses Jackson’s neglected, often misunderstood legacy.)
On a different note, sometimes, I find myself astonished at the persistence of certain questions of religion including the ethics of choice,(though the author, Peter Singer does not think from a religious perspective his piece raises classic religious questions) and the question of religion and state in America, and the question of religion and state in Israel.
For the true booknerds out there, check out this, dare I say, important interview with David Lazar, who created one of the first Ph.D. programs in nonfiction, on the bounds of creative non-fiction and literary essays from Bookslut. In that vein, Laura Miller discusses a similar topic when she tackles a Believer essay, turned into a book on fact checking.
Now, for the Internet argument of the week! Topic: On being a writer and dealing with the Israeli conflict. Erika Dreyfus seeks to find a middle ground between her leftist, writerly tendencies, and her allegiance to the idea of an Israeli State. D.G. Meyers responds, curtly, but to the point. Speaking of Israel, the musician, Cat Power, has decided to cancel an upcoming concert in Israel. There’s not much to say on this worn out topic but to note the fact that I didn’t actually think that Israelis would know who she was. Interesting!
Oh, and I forgot to mention, but our Editor-n-Chief, Jason Diamond, wrote an opinion piece for a little known periodical, The New York Times, an article, by the way, which made it to top of their most popular list. Cool.