Saturday, August 26, 2006

This just in: Life is now a Philip Roth Novel

Swede Levov rides again. An article in today's NY Times speaks of Jewish pride in the new Met's ball player Shawn Green:

Jews are famed for their prowess in many fields, but have long been stereotyped, even by themselves, as being weak in athletics. There might not be a group on the planet with a more finely honed sense of physical inferiority.

So when a star ballplayer who happens to be Jewish comes to play in New York, a capital of Jewish culture, home to nearly two million Jews, it is cause for much rejoicing.

Oy vey! They win an astronomical proportion of all Nobel prizes, produce musical geniuses by the dozen, and this they are proud of?

At any rate, I suppose it's only a matter of time now before a post office in rural New Jersey gets bombed, secret FBI files reveal that it was Lindbergh, not Roosevelt, who was running this country during WWII, and someone comes up with the bright idea of leading all the jews out of Israel and back to the countries in Europe they originally came from (which, if you think about it, may not be such a bad idea - compared to what everyone else has come up with).

I've always maintained that Philip Roth is a god, but it's nice to have it confirmed. After all, if life is a Philip Roth novel, then being cantankerous, screwed-up and in love with words actually improves your chances of getting laid.

I wonder if my local Barnes and Noble has a copy of Carnovsky yet?


Jabberwock said...

if life is a Philip Roth novel, then being cantankerous, screwed-up and in love with words actually improves your chances of getting laid

yes, but you also have to be Jewish and born in either 1928 or 1933, as all of his characters are :D

Falstaff said...

jabberwock: :-). True. But I figure if there really are all these women out there who are looking for someone cantankerous, screwed-up and in love with words, then the fact that I'm not 75 years old has only got to help my chances. Can you imagine them rejecting me because I'm not decrepit enough?

Hell, even in his novels women have started turning his protagonists down because they're too old (see the beach scene in Everyman)

Du Yisa said...

The majority of the Jewish population in Israel comes from Middle Eastern countries, not Europe. In most cases these populations were actively persecuted (e.g. Iraq) and in some cases forcibly expelled (e.g. Egypt).

The number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries vastly outnumbers the Arabs who were expelled by their kinsmen in 1948, and lost property that had literally been accumulated over millenia - unlike the "Palestinians" (a national identity that was invented in the 1950's), most of whom immigrated into the British Mandate in the late 19th & early 20th centuries (e.g. both Edward Said and Yasser Arafat were Egyptians).

Not sure where you would suggest the Sephardi, Mizrahi and Temeni Jews should be sent.

Best regards,

Du Yisa
PRC Guangdong Shenzhen

Falstaff said...

du yisa: Errr...actually, that 'suggestion' comes from the plot of Philip Roth's novel Operation Shylock. In the novel, an impostor called Philip Roth has come up with the scheme of getting the Jews in Israel to move back to the countries in Europe that they came from - on the theory that the Jewish people were in greater danger of extermination in Israel than anywhere else. I'm fairly sure Roth meant the idea farcically - the whole point of the book is that this fake Philip Roth is some kind of maniac running around propounding a crackpot scheme.

At any rate the proposal certainly isn't one that I either came up with or support.

Du Yisa said...

Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean to imply that you personally support the dissolution of Israel - I merely suspected you weren't aware that the majority of Jews there aren't Ashkenazic (a la Roth) - many people seem unaware of this.

BTW, the reason I popped up on your blog is that it was included (along with Jabberwock) on the Asian Blog Awards list for 'Best India Blog':

You're a very talented and interesting writer. Glad to have found your site.

Best regards