Frédéric Brenner has spent the last three years exploring Berlin — a stage for a vast spectrum of expressions and performances of Judaism. ‘Zerheilt: Healed to Pieces’ is the name of the recently opened exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the book that comes with it. It features images of equally fascinating and emblematic figures of a strangeness of the Jewish presence in Berlin today.
Fifty-five years ago, in 1966, Jean Améry published ‘At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities’. In the preface he speaks of the “a gloomy spell” that prevented him from speaking for two decades, until the moment when “suddenly everything demanded telling.” This “everything” that wanted to be said is first of all a powerlessness: that of culture and spirit in the face of Auschwitz.
Shulim Vogelmann is the director of the Giuntina publishing house, founded by his father Daniel. All of his books are related in one way or another to Jewish tradition, culture, history and literature. Giuntina represents today the unique case in Italy of a small publisher specialized in Judaism that is fully involved in the cultural debate and ideas.
While Proust was not raised in the Jewish religion, much of his education bore the imprint of a social and cultural Judaism. But can he be read as a Jewish writer? Can we detect the influences of the Talmud or Kabbalah in his opus, In Search of Lost Time (French: A la Recherche du temps perdu)?
What did Kafka’s work mean to the rising generation of German Jews who embraced it with fervor in the 1910s and 1920s? What experience of the modern European Jew was refracted for them in his writings?
Kafka’s art is accessible again. Hundreds of his drawings are now available, free, from the National Library of Israel, where the Kafka Archive–a collection of his work saved by his friend and collaborator Max Brod–remains to this day.
In her first column for K., Macha Fogel recounted some news from today’s flourishing Yiddish Hasidic press. In this second piece, she asks heself what Yiddish offers to those who use it. Is it a language of the ghetto? Or on the opposite a language of exchanges? Or both at the same time?
On March 13, 1961, Primo Levi was invited, with several other prominent political and intellectual figures from across Italy, to speak at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, in one of a series of conferences held that year on “Nazism and the Racial Laws in Italy.” It was one of the first times he spoke publicly. Commemorating this event, the Jewish Museum of Bologna has dedicated a virtual exhibition to Levi’s speech,.
The series Unorthodox and Shtisel have been worldwide successes, familiarizing audiences with Haredi life. Noémie Issan-Benchimol discusses another Israeli series for K., Autonomies, which imagines the nation riven in two: on one side, the autonomous territory of Jerusalem, a theocracy led by the ultra-Orthodox; on the other side, the secular and Zionist state of Israel, its capital Tel Aviv.
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