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At Wit's End: The Deadly Discourse on the Jewish Joke

At Wit's End: The Deadly Discourse on the Jewish Joke

by Louis Kaplan


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This book explores the fascinating discourse on Jewish wit in the twentieth century when the Jewish joke became the subject of serious humanistic inquiry and inserted itself into the cultural and political debates among Germans and Jews against the ideologically-charged backdrop of anti-Semitism, the Jewish question, and the Holocaust.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823287567
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 05/05/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 869,079
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Louis Kaplan is professor of Visual Studies and Art History and an affiliated faculty member at the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Photography and Humour; The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer; American Exposures: Photography and Community in the Twentieth Century; and László Moholy- Nagy: Biographical Writings.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Joke and Its Questions | 1

1 Secondary Moves: Arthur Trebitsch and the Jewish Joke | 24

2 Of Caricatures, Jokes, and Anti- Semitism: The Case of Eduard Fuchs | 60

3 Of Watchmen and Comedians: Jewish Jokes and Free Speech in Weimar Germany | 95

4 “Far from where?”: Erich Kahler and the Jewish Joke of Exile | 119

5 Of Jokes and Propaganda: The Mobilization of the Jewish Joke in the Nazi Era | 153

6 Jewish Joke Reparations and Mourning in Post- Holocaust Germany | 182

Conclusion: Final Thoughts and Last Laughs | 219

Afterword: The Jewish Joke in Trump’s America | 224

Acknowledgments | 231

Notes | 235

Index | 299

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