If Leon Wieseltier would for once drop his surly, admonitory tone perhaps more people would listen. For what he delivers in his scathing review of the New American Haggadah is certainly worth reading. There are precious few people who are as learned in both Hebrew and English literature as he. And that’s why, even if you disagree with his reading of the new Haggadah, you will undoubte
It’s probably impossible to count the number of film reviews that attack kitschy takes on the Holocaust like this: “an impossible movie that has no reason for being other than as another pop-culture palliative for a trauma it can’t bear to face.”
Or like this: “This is how kitsch works. It exploits familiar images, be they puppies or babies …and tries to make us feel good, even virtuous, simply about feeling.”
The author Gabriel Brownstein takes up the old question -- are you a Jewish writer, or just "a writer"? -- in an interesting essay for The Millions. He goes over well-trodden territory, like the rea difficulty the first popular class of American Jewish writers -- Roth, Bellow and Malamud -- had accepting this label.