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Reflections on Contemporary Culture in Israel and the Diaspora
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This innovative study shows how the imaginary constructions of self and Other are shaping identification with Jewishness in the twenty-first century. The texts and artworks discussed in this book test a diverse range of ways of identifying as Jews and with the Jewish people, while engaging with postmodern and postcolonial discourses of hybridity and multiculturalism.

This book selects six key areas in which the boundaries of Jewish identities have been interrogated and renegotiated: nation, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and the Holocaust. In each of these areas Sicher explores how major and emerging contemporary writers and artists re-envision the meaning of their identities. Such re-envisioning may be literally visual or metaphorical in the search for expression of artistic self between the conventional paradigms of the past and new ways of thinking.
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Écrivaine inclassable, Hélène Cixous offre une écriture dont les grands thèmes – le père mort, le pays perdu et la mère étrangère –, aux fortes résonances autobiographiques, s’affirment continuellement tout en multipliant les échos poétiques et philosophiques. La question de l’origine, à la fois singulière et plurielle, donne lieu à une écriture-pensée d’une subjectivité qui montre ses enracinements, revisite les lieux et les liens, mais (se) défait aussi des mythes de l’origine.
Ce volume se propose d’étudier les marqueurs de la féminité, de l’« algériance » et de la judéité comme les principaux lieux d’interrogation de l’origine, auxquels s’ajoutent la filiation allemande mise en lumière dans les textes les plus récents, Gare d’Osnabrück à Jérusalem et Une autobiographie allemande. Le volume ouvre par un inédit d’Hélène Cixous, « Un legs empoisonné ».

Hélène Cixous offers us an unclassifiable oeuvre, the main themes of which - the dead father, the lost country and the foreign mother -, all autobiographically inspired, assert themselves as such while offering the reader continuously new poetical and philosophical insights.
The question of origin, either singular or multiple, gives rise to an écriture-pensée of a subjectivity which shows its roots, revisits places and relationships, but also breaks down myths of origin.
This collection of essays proposes to study the markers of femininity, “algériance”, Jewishness and, as expressed in Cixous’ latest works of fiction, the German filiation, as the main places of questioning origin. “Un legs empoisonné”, an unpublished text by Hélène Cixous, opens the collection.
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The Holocaust is often said to be unrepresentable. Yet since the 1990s, a new generation of Jewish American writers have been returning to this history again and again, insisting on engaging with it in highly playful, comic, and “impious” ways. Focusing on the fiction of Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Nathan Englander, this book suggests that this literature cannot simply be dismissed as insensitive or improper. It argues that these Jewish American authors engage with the Holocaust in ways that renew and ensure its significance for contemporary generations. These ways, moreover, are intricately connected to efforts of finding new means of expressing Jewish American identity, and of moving beyond the increasingly apparent problems of postmodernism.