Article by Mitchell Abidor

Victor Serge, whose real name is Viktor Lvovitch Kibaltchitch, was born in Brussels in 1890. The man who would become a key figure in the European revolutionary mythology of the 20th century, grew up in the European libertarian milieu before joining Soviet Russia. Among the first denouncers of the abuses of Stalinism, he was deported to Siberia before being allowed to go into exile, first in Western Europe, then in Mexico. Mitchell Abidor returns to a little-known part of the career of the man who, during the war, wrote “The Extermination of the Jews of Warsaw”: that of his extreme attention – not tinged with ambiguity at times – to the specificity of the fate of the Jews.

World famous since its adaptation by Walt Disney, Bambi, A life in the woods, was first a children’s story imagined, a century ago, by the Viennese Jewish writer of Hungarian origin, Felix Salten. A writer who was also a convinced Zionist and a militant anti-assimilationist. Starting from the author’s biography, Mitchell Abidor offers us another reading of Bambi as a metaphor for the life of the Jews in Eastern Europe, torn between the mass murders of the pogroms and the suicide of assimilation; far from a children’s tale.

The enfant terrible of post-war international Jewish philosophy is probably the best way to describe Jacob Taubes. Admired and sought after by all his contemporaries, Taubes embodies a figure that is repeated in the history of thought: that of the genius without work. But Taubes does not exactly fit this image. For throughout his life, rather than a work, the genius left… a mixed impression. Scholem even hid in obscure corners when he was likely to come across him by chance, while others, not least, were eager to get to know him, even to support him. It is of this strange Mr. Taubes that Jerry Z. Muller has just written a major biography:’ Professor of Apocalypse. The many lives of Jacob Taubes’. For K. Mitchell Abidor offers a review that plunges us into the wild life of a character oscillating between Shlemiel and false messiah.

Ulysses is now one hundred years old. James Joyce’s novel was published in its original full text in Paris on February 2, 1922. Leopold Bloom is one of the two main characters of the book. Fans of Joyce’s cult novel have never ceased to speculate about the identity and personality of this son of a Hungarian emigrant, converted to Catholicism and baptized three times. Jewish or not Jewish, Leopold Bloom? Or rather what kind of Jew? Mitchell Abidor investigates the biography and beliefs of one of Ulysses’ heroes.

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