THE AUTHOR says we should embrace ‘feeling split’ feelings and identities..
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Historian Yuri Slezkine once declared that “the Modern Age is the Jewish Age... Modernization is about everyone becoming urban, mobile, literate, articulate, intellectually intricate, physically fastidious, and occupationally flexible.” Not entirely insiders or outsiders, and feeling, at times, threatened, Slezkine adds, Jews can be considered “model moderns.”In Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just About Anyone), Devorah Baum, a lecturer in English literature at the University of Southampton, applies this claim to seven prevalent stereotypes about the emotional excesses of Jews: self-hatred; envy; guilt; hysteria; paranoia, mother love; inauthenticity. Although Jewishness animates her analysis, she demonstrates that lots of people share these feelings.