By Michael Stanislawski
Autobiographical Jews examines the character of autobiographical writing by means of Jews from antiquity to the current, and the ways that such writings can legitimately be used as assets for Jewish historical past. Drawing on present literary concept, which questions the very nature of autobiographical writing and its dating to what we generally designate because the fact, and, to a lesser volume, the recent cognitive neurosciences, Michael Stanislawski analyzes a few the most important and complicated autobiographical texts written via Jews in the course of the ages.
Stanislawski considers The existence via first-century historian Josephus; compares the early sleek autobiographies of Asher of Reichshofen (Book of thoughts) and Glikl of Hameln (Memoirs); analyzes the extensively assorted autobiographies of 2 Russian Jewish writers, the Hebrew Enlightenment writer Moshe Leib Lilienblum and the recognized Russian poet Osip Mandelstam; and appears at autobiographies written out of utter depression within the midst and within the wake of global struggle II, Stefan Zweig’s the area of the day past and Sarah Kofman’s Rue Ordener, Rue Labat.
These writers’ makes an attempt to painting their deepest and public struggles, anxieties, successes, and screw ups are expressions of a simple force for selfhood that is either undying and time-bound, common and culturally particular. The problem is to aim to solve the awake from the subconscious distortions in those texts and to treat them as artifacts of people’ quests to make experience in their lives, initially for themselves after which, if attainable, for his or her readers.
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Extra info for Autobiographical Jews: Essays in Jewish Self-Fashioning
Similarly, he vowed to abstain from nonkosher wine, which he reports was imbibed by Jews of all types throughout his region, despite the rabbinic prohibition, a reality we know from other sources. 13 This is immediately followed by a recording of an incident about another form of ritual impurity that speaks volumes about the nature and setting of this text, and the life it describes. We know from multiple scholarly studies that notions of sexuality, privacy, and what is appropriate to discuss in the public realm were far different in early seventeenth-century Alsace than in early twenty-ﬁrst-century America; thus, Asher writes: Here in Reichshofen there gathered together a minyan of neighbors for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and I served without compensation as their prayer leader, standing on my feet all Kol Nidre eve and the entire day of Yom Kippur.
Explicit or declarative memory, on the other hand, is memory of factual information about people, places, and things, and what these facts mean, and it is recalled by deliberately conscious effort. It is then subdivided into semantic memory (memory for facts) and episodic memory (memory for events and personal experiences). Although no true consensus obtains as yet about which parts of the brain and which chemical processes are involved in the storage and retrieval of any sort of memory, the accepted textbook wisdom is that there is no general memory store, as we used to believe: memory, whether semantic or episodic, declarative or non-declarative, is not stored in a single region of the brain.
The Life then ends with a short summary of Josephus’s departure from Judea, ﬁrst to Alexandria and then with the imperial forces to Rome, where he was treated with much dignity by the emperors, housed in one of their palaces, and granted Roman citizenship and a pension, as well as lands back home that provided him with a ﬁxed income for the rest of his life. Roughly two-thirds of the way through the main action, we encounter a short but very strongly worded attack on another Galilean exgeneral turned Greek-Jewish historian, one Justus of Tiberias, who, Josephus insists, was not only a traitor to the Jews but a terrible and deceitful historian, unlike our author, who is pledged to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Autobiographical Jews: Essays in Jewish Self-Fashioning by Michael Stanislawski