The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought (Religion and Postmodernism Series)

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$73.63
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $77.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 4%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $77.75   
  • New (4) from $77.75   
  • Used (3) from $80.47   

Overview

The rootless Jew, wandering disconnected from history, homeland, and nature, was often  the target of early twentieth-century nationalist rhetoric aimed against modern culture. But following World War II, a number of prominent French philosophers recast this maligned figure in positive terms, and in so doing transformed postwar conceptions of politics and identity.

 

Sarah Hammerschlag explores this figure of the Jew from its prewar usage to its resuscitation by Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida. Sartre and Levinas idealized the Jew’s rootlessness in order to rethink the foundations of political identity. Blanchot and Derrida, in turn, used the figure of the Jew to call into question the very nature of group identification. By chronicling this evolution in thinking, Hammerschlag ultimately reveals how the figural Jew can function as a critical mechanism that exposes the political dangers of mythic allegiance, whether couched in universalizing or particularizing terms.

 

Both an intellectual history and a philosophical argument, The Figural Jew will set the agenda for all further consideration of Jewish identity, modern Jewish thought, and continental philosophy.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

French Studies

“Sarah Hammerschlag has written a fascinating account of the construction of the Jew in modern and postmodern thought. . . . Often original and always illuminating.”—French Studies: A Quarterly Review

Notre Dame Philosophical Review

“Sarah Hammerschlag’s The Figural Jew offers an insightful new interpretation of how a cluster of postwar thinkers represented Jews and Judaism in their thought. . . . Her book merits celebration for how she brings Sartre, Blanchot, and Derrida into dialogue with Levinas and into conversation with a tradition of Jewish philosophers.”

French Studies: A Quarterly Review
Sarah Hammerschlag has written a fascinating account of the construction of the Jew in modern and postmodern thought. . . . Often original and always illuminating.
H-Judaic

“Hammerschlag’s book takes the ‘figural Jew’ as its guiding thread, but in her careful construction of the influences on and debates between Sartre, Levinas, Blanchot, and Derrida, Hammerschlag weaves a more expansive tapestry. In The Figural Jew, Hammerschlag teaches us new ways to read the intellectual history of postwar France and helps us appreciate the complex articulations of philosophy, politics, and literature that make up postmodern thought.”

The Journal of Religion

The Figural Jew demonstrates the spiral repetition and reconfigurations of the figure of the Jew, all while the work as a whole exhibits a captivating elegance.”

French Studies: A Quarterly Review

“Sarah Hammerschlag has written a fascinating account of the construction of the Jew in modern and postmodern thought. . . . Often original and always illuminating.”

French Review

“By studying the way in which Jews and Jewishness are represented in French literature and philosophy, especially after World War II, the author not only sheds light on social and cultural change, but also promotes a new way of dealing with such politically charged issues as multiculturalism and identity politics.”

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226315119
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Series: Religion and Postmodernism Series
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Hammerschlag is assistant professor of Jewish thought in the Department of Religion at Williams College.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  

Introduction 

 

1. Roots, Rootlessness, and Fin de Siècle France

2. Stranger and Self: Sartre’s Jew

I. Anti-Semite and Jew

II. Dialectical History, Unhappy Consciousness, and the Messiah

3. The Ethics of Uprootedness: Emmanuel Levinas’s

Postwar Project

4. Literary Unrest: Maurice Blanchot’s Rewriting of Levinas

5. “The Last of the Jews”: Jacques Derrida and the Case of the Figure

I. The Cut

II. The Exemplar

 

Conclusion

Selected Bibliography

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)