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On Marriage

On Marriage

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But at the end of all her analysis, a definitive understanding remains elusive: “Having thought so much about marriage, the truth is that I still don’t know what I think about 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. The point, of course, is that a marriage is unknowable to anyone outside it (and often to the people in it), so that only the couple themselves know where the lines between autofiction, truth and comedy blur in these retellings.

Marriage is unknowable to anyone outside it’: Devorah Baum and husband Josh Appignanesi with their children in 2016. With Josh Appignanesi, her spouse, she is both co-director and performer in the documentaries The New Man and Husband. It has often been regarded as the most bourgeois and conservative of institutions, while proving flexible enough to accommodate radical reinventions. It was left to me, therefore, to point out that Shakespeare’s Jew was an anti-Semitic stereotype and that Shylock was in fact not an accurate depiction of how I generally acted, nor how my family acted and nor how my ancestors acted, even when faced with persecution and prejudice.Devorah Baum is the author of Feeling Jewish and The Jewish Joke: an essay with examples (less essay, more examples).

AH: Also, making fun of yourself… At the conference “Contemporary British-Jewish Cultures” at Bangor University this month (March 2018) many speakers described this idea as something inherently Jewish, too. Boundaries, as we know, are vital, and people who have none are not people you normally want to hang around with [laughs], but it depends on the extent to which you understand them as being both provisional and constructed, and as a creative act. Why, then, she wonders, has there been so little serious intellectual engagement with the idea of marriage? Baum’s methodology is to look at what is missing – a philosophy of marriage, a clear idea of what this dominant structure is and how it influences lives.There are all kinds of closed spaces that I respect, but I also recognize that tribalism, in the way we’re seeing it at the moment, is so… toxic. At the core of OCLW's new programme on Writing Jewish Women's Lives, our new series of afternoon literary seminars are a chance to discuss books by and about Jewish women.

Devorah, who happens to be Lisa's daughter-in-law, draws on some related tropes of memoir and psychoanalysis in her writing and film-making.Pretty much all the positions I’ve encountered on the subject seem to me to have a great deal of validity. There was this sudden mass-hysteria, or outpouring, a kind of emotional release that was then oddly matched by the Queen and the stiff upper lip. Because you see how Jews have prospered there, with that psychology that there is a chance to start anew. That really impressed me, because, you know, you read something about feelings, and that was a complete turn-over in my head.

Exploring her own marriage has given Baum a unique vantage point from which to investigate the private intricacies of other people's arrangements . This is not so much a cop-out as a recognition of the fact that marriage, for all its legal and social connotations, remains the ultimate subjective experience. I was one of the only Jews around and I had a very strong sense of my Jewish identity for that reason.DB: Feelings are contagious – you can be a winner in a society, and still be caught up in envious feelings. In this conversation, Lisa and Devorah will discuss Losing the Dead and then, more generally, the role played by familial stories in their work. I consider all feelings to have a potentially blocking, and a potentially motivating, or moving, impulse inside them. Feelings - especially 'negative' feelings; feelings as framed by modernity/history, technology, literature, art, film and psychoanalysis.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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