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The Liberation of the Jew
     

The Liberation of the Jew

5.0 1
by Albert Memmi
 
In this book, written after The Colonizer and the Colonized and Portrait of a Jew, Albert Memmi writes, “It is true that all oppression has a strong tendency to become a total oppression, but it is a question of degree and nuance, of generalities and accent. The specific conditions of each oppression consists precisely of such degrees and particular intonations

Overview

In this book, written after The Colonizer and the Colonized and Portrait of a Jew, Albert Memmi writes, “It is true that all oppression has a strong tendency to become a total oppression, but it is a question of degree and nuance, of generalities and accent. The specific conditions of each oppression consists precisely of such degrees and particular intonations. The Jew is not oppressed as a member of a class, which distinguishes him from the proletariat, for example. Nor is he oppressed as a member of a biological group, which distinguishes him from Negroes or women. He is affected as a member of a total, social, cultural, political and historical group. In other words, the Jew is oppressed as a member of a people, a minor people, a dispersed people, a people always and everywhere in the minority (which distinguished him from the colonized, also oppressed as a people, but a people in the majority). [...] The Jew must be liberated from oppression, and Jewish culture must be liberated from religion. This double liberation can be found in the same course of action — the fight for [the State of] Israel.”


Portrait of a Jew and The Liberation of the Jew “form a whole: the beginning and the outcome of a passionate quest. The first offers a diagnosis, the second a remedy. [...] Both are written with moving sincerity [...] As a personal document, Memmi’s introspective study is valuable. Thought-provoking and disturbing in the best sense of the word, it allows us to look into the tormented mind and soul of a distinguished Jewish writer who aspires to live honestly while belonging simultaneously to two worlds. His doubts and affirmations carry the weight of testimony.” — Elie Wiesel, The New York Times

“Portrait of a Jew and The Liberation of the Jew [are] filled with a Jewish existentialism marked by quest for identity and self-affirmation far more psychological and sociological than traditionally religious.” — Richard Locke, The New York Times

“[The Liberation of the Jew] is in large measure a personal record. It is a moving record [...] The poignancy of this unique work stems from its being a courageous self-analysis by a highly sensitive artist. Its confessional honesty is complete.” — Louis Schwartzman, Journal of Jewish Education

Product Details

BN ID:
2940015950199
Publisher:
Plunkett Lake Press
Publication date:
01/30/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
303
File size:
268 KB

Meet the Author

Albert Memmi was born in Tunisia in 1920, the second of thirteen children of a poor, working-class Arabic-speaking Jewish family. He learned French in his Jewish elementary school and attended Lycée Carnot in Tunis. When the Nazis invaded Tunisia during World War II, he was unable to continue his studies and interned in a labor camp. He moved to Paris in 1945 where he met Germaine Dubach, a Catholic, whom he married in 1946. The couple moved back to Tunis, where two of their three children were born, and where Memmi taught high school philosophy and helped found a publication that would later become Jeune Afrique.

His first novel, The Pillar of Salt with a preface by Albert Camus, appeared in 1953. After Tunisia became independent in 1956, Memmi — a prominent leftist and Jew — returned to Paris where he has lived ever since. During the Algerian war, he published The Colonizer and the Colonized with a preface by Jean-Paul Sartre, in 1957. Portrait of a Jew and The Liberation of the Jew were published by Gallimard in 1962 and 1966. Memmi became a French citizen in 1973. He taught at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and Université de Paris-Nanterre, received the Académie Française’s Grand Prix de la Francophonie and is a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

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Liberation of the Jew 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Liberation of the Jew is a riveting, ruthless, self-analysis of the Jewish psyche. To be Jewish is to belong to a despised group, this is an axiom that is hardly touched upon in the book, and rightly so. Now GIVEN that you are universally despised what on earth could you do about it? Not much. You could accept that hate, pretend it doesn¿t exist, change your name, get a nose job, marry out, bury in, whatever. None tackles the tragic predicament ¿ you life is going to be crippled one way or another. Well, Memmi does offer something at the very end of the book. My suggestion is to read the whole book first. The diagnosis is far more interesting than the prescription.