TALK: No Joke: Making Jewish Humor

Ruth Wisse (Emeritus Research Professor in Yiddish and Comparative Literature, Harvard University)
April 14, 2016 / 7:30 PM
Congregation B’nai B’rith

Humor is the most celebrated of all Jewish responses to modernity. In her critically-acclaimed book, No Joke: Making Jewish Humor, Ruth Wisse evokes and applauds the genius of spontaneous Jewish joking—as well as the brilliance of comic masterworks by writers like Heinrich Heine, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, S. Y. Agnon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Philip Roth. At the same time, Wisse draws attention to the precarious conditions that call Jewish humor into being—and the price it may exact from its practitioners and audience. Wisse broadly traces modern Jewish humor around the world, teasing out its implications as she explores memorable and telling examples from German, Yiddish, English, Russian, and Hebrew. Courtesy of The Book Den, copies of No Joke will be available for purchase and signing at this event.

Sponsored by the Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies

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