Wow. Last Friday, when it looked like this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review might have some Jewish content, we had no idea! Turns out it its theme is “The Jewish Question,” with four big reviews trying to give some sort of answer.
• Über-Jew Harold Bloom tackled Anthony Julius’s new tome on British anti-Semitism.
• As presaged Friday, Tablet Magazine books critic Adam Kirsch struggled with whether we must throw out the baby that is Martin Heidegger’s mainstream philosophical contribution with the bathwater that is his undeniable Nazism.
• Also as presaged Friday, Francine Prose reviewed a new biography of Irène Némirovsky as well a collection of the French-Jewish writer’s newly translated stories.
• And Francis Fukuyama, in the course of an essay on Friedrich Nietzsche, argues that the crazy/brilliant German philosopher transformed from a run-of-the-mill casual anti-Semite to “a principled anti-anti-Semite” and enemy of “German chauvinism.”
And a bonus! In the Week in Review section, film critic A.O. Scott declared that this is the year of Generation X’s midlife crisis in an essay whose central juxtaposition was the new Noah Baumbauch film Greenberg and the new Sam Lipsyte novel The Ask, which both feature similarly schlemiel-like protagonists. Wish we’d thought of that connection. Oh, wait, our very own Marissa Brostoff did.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.