Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Words, Words, Words

Today on Tablet

Print Email

Dan Klein talks to cartoonist Ben Katchor today in Tablet Magazine. His new collection, The Cardboard Valise, is bereft of the Jewish characters—or the explicitly Jewish characters—that dominated his earlier volumes. Of course, Katchor, with the graphic artist’s characteristic eye for the corruptions that those of us who work too closely with language fail to see, blows the importance of such distinctions to bits:

At this point in history, the word “Jew” by itself doesn’t tell me anything. Using the word by itself is just a lazy way of categorizing the multifaceted history of the world. Anti-Semites deal in such gross generalizations.

In the make-up of some of my characters there is an echo of Jewish history or culture, but in a quantity and of a quality that you might not recognize because of its mixture with a thousand other historical details. If the make-up of human character can be unraveled it’s only on that kind of a microscopic level. The labels of ethnicity and national identity are fraudulent simplifications perpetuated for criminal and/or business purposes.

Unpacked

Print Email
2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Words, Words, Words

Today on Tablet

More on Tablet:

Anti-Israel Protests Make the Case for Israel

By Jordan Chandler Hirsch — As protestors’ rhetoric heats up across Europe, many Jews feel safer in Israel