A middle-class Prague Jew ("the most Western-Jewish of them all") both enamored of and horrified by an Eastern shtetl life he never knew; a Jew in a period of virulent anti-Semitism ("I've been spending every afternoon outside in the streets, wallowing in anti-Semitic hate") who remained ambivalent toward the Zionist project; a German speaker surrounded by Czech nationalists. The impossible "gypsy literature" an aspect of an impossible gypsy self, an assimilated Judaism that was fatally neither one thing or the other.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
fatally neither one thing or the other
Today, Nextbook tells me, is Franz Kafka's 125th birthday.