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Sunday, March 19 • 16:00 - 16:45
Moe, Larry and Bernie: On American Schlemiels, Shlimazels, and Nudniks Today and Tomorrow

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The schlemiel is not new to the Jewish world and it is no longer new to America. It has become what one scholar calls an 'American cultural icon'. Some people argue that if the schlemiel is to continue existing and remain relevant, it must play a political role. Otherwise, it will remain in Hollywood or on the pages of novels and screenplays. The difference between the two views has a lot to do with how a large part of North Americans (both Jews and non-Jews) envision the comical meanings of life. On the one hand, when Larry David takes on the role of Bernie Sanders, we see the two come together. In contrast, when we see David, in his Larry David Show in the Woody Allen film, Whatever Works (2009), incorporate a schlemiel, a schlimazel, and a nudnik into one character, we see something else. I will discuss these characters, the schlemiel as an 'American cultural icon,' and the urgent meaning and far-reaching implications of the tension between two kinds of schlemiels that Larry David has brought to the forefront of American culture.

Presenters
avatar for Matthew Feuer

Matthew Feuer

Menachem Feuer has a PhD in Comparative Literature and an MA in Philosophy.  He has written several articles, essays, and book reviews on the schlemiel, philosophy, religion, comedy, and literature for various academic journals, book collections, and magazines. Feuer teaches Jewish Studies at York University.  And besides having created the most popular and relavant blog in the world on schlemiel - Schlemiel Theory... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
L4 27th Floor

Attendees (30)