Article by Mitchell Abidor

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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