The Politics and Ethics of Jewish American Literature and Criticism
This introductory chapter briefly examines the ways in which the authors featured in this book explore, satirize, and experiment with the social values, political assumptions, and ethical commitments that underwrite the social transitions in post-civil rights America. Through their art, these writers expose the cynicism, limitations, blind spots, and conceptual aporias that nonetheless advance into mainstream political claims for group-based rights and recognition. Rights and recognition form the core of the chapter's discussion, alongside a third concept—“proximity”—and how these lead to new configurations of being and belonging. In so doing the chapter also explores the ambiguities surrounding “Jewish American Literature” as a concept, and thereafter lays out the background and methodology undertaken in the making of this book.
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