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Jewish Studies as CounterlifeA Report to the Academy$
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Adam Zachary Newton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823283958

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823283958.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Ventilating the Tradition: Rashbam and the Coen Brothers

Ventilating the Tradition: Rashbam and the Coen Brothers

(p.165) Chapter 5 Ventilating the Tradition: Rashbam and the Coen Brothers
Jewish Studies as Counterlife

Adam Zachary Newton

Fordham University Press

With a performative and unlikely coupling of rabbinic commentary and postmodern filmmaking that pivots around the vagaries of storytelling, this chapter aims to circulate air not only within the crowded spaces it has explored in the previous four chapters but also inside the classical textual precincts that JS has traditionally made its own. If this book had been authored by a different category of disciplinarian—historian, social scientist, or theologian—this final chapter would most likely not be juxtaposing an eleventh-century Northern-French Torah commentator and twenty-first-century American filmmakers or the contrasting narrative strategies of renarration and denarration in Genesis 24 and A Serious Man, respectively. By performing just that sort of interreading, Jewish Studies as Counterlife concludes on the note on which it began, picking up the thread of a Jewish Studies story that hasn’t quite materialized or been recounted with a level of invention that matches its own unfolding.

Keywords:   Coen Brothers, denarration, narrative Poetics, postmodern cinema, Rashbam, renarration, Torah commentary

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