Who Needs Literature?

Nov. 22 2019

Best known for his many novels and short stories, of which a very large portion were translated into English, the Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer also authored numerous essays on literary criticism and other topics under the pseudonym Yitskhok Varshavski. Among these was his 1963 article titled “Who Needs Literature?” in which he questions the purpose of fiction even while lamenting its decline. Singer begins the essay, recently translated into English by David Stromberg, by declaring that he has come to the conclusion “that reading fiction is a waste of time”—but then goes on to defend literature itself:

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Read more at Los Angeles Review of Books

More about: Jewish literature, Literature, Technology

The U.S. Peace Plan May Finally Bring about a Palestinian State

Among those most fervently opposed to Israel applying its sovereignty to Jewish areas of the West Bank are members of the hard right, many of whom live in the affected areas. They do so because, under the Trump administration proposal, the extension of sovereignty makes possible the creation of a Palestinian state in the remainder of the territory. Haviv Rettig Gur comments on this irony:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Annexation, Israel & Zionism