Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The World is What It Is

Joshua Cohen won a Pulitzer for The Netanyahus. There are early scenes of the novel which bear a strong resemblance to Good Bye Columbus—though the parody of middle class Jewish life is even more funny and astringent—particularly with regard to the rhinoplasty. But suffice it to say this is not the era for the Bellows, Roths (Henry, Philip or Joseph), IB Singer’s or Malamuds of the world. How would Bellow’s "Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans. I'd be happy to read them" be taken in the current culture? Would he have been removed from his position on the Committee on Social Thought, despite the University of Chicago's firm adherence to academic freedom. Would Harold Bloom one of the great lights of Shakespearean criticism have been sued under Title IX for his sexual antics? Hopefully he would have been spared by Laura Kipnis, a humanizing voice of feminism in the #MeToo era. And what about Mailer who stabbed his second wife, Adele Morales, at a party held to announce his candidacy for mayor? But Jewish males are actually only a subset of the predatory White Male Neanderthal, the bane of decolonizers, who wish these vestiges of the past would become extinct in a new Ice Age. Of course let’s not leave out those of color like V.S. Naipaul who suffered from aggravated Stockholm Syndrome, like other members of formerly oppressed minorities, women for example, who adopt the worst traits of those they rebelled against. Naipaul demonstrated egregiously sadomasochistic behavior towards his long--suffering mistress—something which has been documented in Patrick French’s biography, The World is What It Is, an interestingly apologetic title for the institutionalized excesses of misogyny.

Read Francis Levy on The Netanyahus, The Screaming Pope

and listen to "I Get Around" by The Beach Boys

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