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Posted 20 hours ago

On Marriage

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Because it looks as though what I’m saying is that feeling Jewish means to feel: guilt, envy, self-hatred, paranoia – come and get it! Lisa Appignanesi OBE FRSL has written many books, fiction and non-fiction, including the memoirs Losing the Dead and Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love.

So that wasn’t a direct experience of aggressive, hostile antisemitism, but it was implicit in the acceptance of Shylock as staged Jew. For better or worse, for richer for poorer, till death us do part – we’ve always done it and we’re still doing it. Baum is an erudite and entertaining guide through the landscape of marriage, bringing a lively intellectual rigour to changing attitudes on matters of religion, feminism, parenting and sexuality. Exploring her own marriage has given Baum a unique vantage point from which to investigate the private intricacies of other people's arrangements . So, the notion – that we had 27 other countries we could go to, and now we don’t – feels absolutely existential for many Jews in this country.The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. The feeling of being European has arisen, I think, in particular amongst Jews in this country, partly because some of them, since the Referendum, have discovered that they can go and get passports – from Germany, Poland. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

And both my books regard that situation as becoming increasingly common to all people who feel themselves the subjects of a globalised world. They monitor themselves; it has probably a lot to do with Freudian introspection and the idea that it’s a definition of what you do as a university person – particularly in Germany. Often you find they’re very funny, and then the moment they’re not being funny, you find that they’re awfully serious – a little bit too serious.

And that’s not just a secular idea: that idea of sanctifying or desecrating the name of God through your behaviours in public really belongs to the religion, as well. Marriage is unknowable to anyone outside it’: Devorah Baum and husband Josh Appignanesi with their children in 2016. And I’ve also known how to access joy, how to access feelings of awe and humility – through the religion. And that self-seriousness is very often a kind of annoyance that nobody notices, when they’re being funny, that they’re also being deep, that they’re also saying things nobody has ever thought or dared to say before. DB: I think perhaps one thing that I would say to that is that in the British culture, Jews are conspicuous by their kind of emotional incontinence.

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