Location: Bowdoin / Calendar


Uncanny Returns: Literary Zionism and Modernism (Joyce, Spark and Roth)

  • 3/27/2014 | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Location: Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room
  • Event Type: Lecture

In 1896, Max Nordau's Degeneration lodged a diatribe against the modernist aesthetic, that its formal innovations were reflective of a pathological instability of its authors.  Such a charge mirrored anti-Semitism's vilified stereotype of the wandering Jew.  Nordau would go on to produce one of the underwriting tracts of Zionism.  "Muscular Judaism," which proffered a countertype of fitness.  Zionism was one of several nascent nationalist movements in the period of Modernism's development at the turn of the twentieth century, and after, championed, questioned and interpolated by several writers on the continent, Great Britain, and the United States.  This talk will consider a few of these, including James Joyce, Muriel Spark and Philip Roth, all of whom would qualify for Nordau's hit list of damnable authors.  A Perspectives on Israel event.