Is Theory Good for the Jews?

Bruno Chaouat

£90.00
- +

ISBN: 9781781381212

Publication: December 16, 2016

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 43

Is Theory Good for the Jews? is the first attempt at exploring the cultural, intellectual, literary, and ideological roots of French engagement with the global and local upsurge of antisemitism in the 21st century. It is also the first attempt at analyzing the French responses to this new crisis. Chaouat endeavors to understand phenomena of repression, distortion, perversion, or outright denial, within the specific context of French intellectual and cultural history. By looking back to the 1960s and the emergence of a theoretical discourse on trauma, victims and suffering, the Holocaust and the Jews in literature, philosophy, and literary theory, he offer the first in-depth exploration of the cultural roots of French responses to the new antisemitism. Engaging with the work of major thinkers such as Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-François Lyotard, Is Theory Good for the Jews? is an essential texts for scholars of contemporary French and contemporary Jewish Studies.

Bruno Chaouat is Professor of French at the University of Minnesota

Figures

Acknowledgements

Prologue: A Farewell to Theory

Introduction: Is Theory Good for the Jews?

1 Specters of Heidegger

2 The Moralistic Turn: Radical Social Critique, Literary Terror, and Antisemitism after Toulouse

3 Dangerous Parallels: The Holocaust, the Colonial Turn, and the New Antisemitism

4 Theory’s Operation Shylock
  Divertimento
  Part I: Antisemitism Denial
  Intermezzo: Have French Jews Veered to the Right?
  Part II: Jew-Splitting in Judith Butler’s Parting Ways

Postscript: Theorizing Antisemitic Laughter

Envoy: Adieu to France?

Index Nominum

Bruno Chaouat’s Is Theory Good for the Jews? is well-written, well-researched, and deeply felt. Chaouat is an established scholar and Professor at the University of Minnesota whose work is at the intersection of French literature and thought and Holocaust and Jewish Studies.
Brett Ashley Kaplan, University of Illinois, H-France Review

 

It is a final, telling indictment of Theory that Chaouat’s critique of it derives more political and moral insight from his detours into novels by Philip Roth, Boualem Sansal, and Michel Houellebecq than from any theoretical text he cites. One might have wished that Theory were today solely a matter of 1980s trivia, at most an exercise in period nostalgia like the television show Stranger Things, albeit scarier and less entertaining. Alas, as Chaouat’s book shows, it is still very much with us.
Michael Weingrad, Jewish Review of Books

 

"In this startlingly lucid book, Bruno Chaouat asks why so many of the important theorists of our time, from Alain Badiou to Judith Butler, have failed to confront the problem of the 'new antisemitism.' A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of contemporary politics and critical theory." Maurice Samuels Betty Jane Anlyan Professor of French and Director, Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism, Yale University
Professor Maurice Samuels, Director, Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism, Yale University  

'The reader will be fascinated by the deftness with which Chaouat triangulates such opppositions as Sephardic/Ashkenazi, Israélite/Juif, Jew of the flesh/Jew of the spirit, infinitely expanding Europe/infinitely expanding Jihad. This is a remarkable book. ' Professor Jeffrey Mehlman, Boston University





 

Format: Ebook

224 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381212

Publication: December 16, 2016

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 43

Related products

Scroll to top