No Joke: Making Jewish Humor (Hardcover)

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ITEM# 14988487
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Details

ITEM#: 14988487

Ruth R. Wisse is the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. She is the author ofThe Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey through Language and Culture, which won a National Jewish Book Award. Her other books includeJews and Power (Schocken) and The Schlemiel as Modern Hero.

Humor is the most celebrated of all Jewish responses to modernity. In this book, Ruth Wisse evokes and applauds the genius of spontaneous Jewish joking--as well as the brilliance of comic masterworks by writers like Heinrich Heine, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, S. Y. Agnon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Philip Roth. At the same time, Wisse draws attention to the precarious conditions that call Jewish humor into being--and the price it may exact from its practitioners and audience.


Wisse broadly traces modern Jewish humor around the world, teasing out its implications as she explores memorable and telling examples from German, Yiddish, English, Russian, and Hebrew. Among other topics, the book looks at how Jewish humor channeled Jewish learning and wordsmanship into new avenues of creativity, brought relief to liberal non-Jews in repressive societies, and enriched popular culture in the United States.


Even as it invites readers to consider the pleasures and profits of Jewish humor, the book asks difficult but fascinating questions: Can the excess and extreme self-ridicule of Jewish humor go too far and backfire in the process? And is "leave 'em laughing" the wisest motto for a people that others have intended to sweep off the stage of history?

Specs

ISBN 9780691149462
Genre SOCIAL SCIENCE / Jewish Studies
Format Hardcover
Pages 279
Publisher Date 2013-06-02 00:00:00.0
Publisher Princeton Univ Pr
Copyright Year 2013
Height 8.75 in
Wdth 5.75 in
Thickness 1.0 in
Unit weight 1.05 lb
Language English
Subtitle Making Jewish Humor
Series Name Library of Jewish Ideas
Audience College/higher education
Authors Wisse, Ruth R.
Country of Origin United States
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