For English-speaking readers, this book serves as an introduction to an important French intellectual whose work, especially on the issues of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, runs counter to the hostility shown toward Jews by some representatives of contemporary critical theory. It presents for the first time in English five essays by Eric Marty, previously published in France, with a new preface by the author addressed to his American readers. The focus of these essays is the debate in France and elsewhere in Europe concerning the Jew. The first essay on Jean Genet, one of postwar France's most important literary figures, investigates the nature of Genet's virulent antisemitism and hatred of Israel and its significance for an understanding of contemporary phemena. The curious reappearance of St. Paul in theological and political discourse is discussed in ather essay, which describes and analyses the interest that secular writers of the far left have shown in Paul's universalism placed over and against Jewish or Israeli particularism. The remaining essays are more polemical in nature and confront the anti-Israeli attacks by Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze.
Eric Marty is Professor of Contemporary French Literature at the University of Paris VII - Diderot. He is author of many books including Pourquoi le XXe siecle a-t-il pris Sade au serieux? (Why did the 20th century take Sade seriously?) Roland Barthes: La litterature et le droit a la mort (Roland Barthes: Literature and the right to death) Une querelle avec Alain Badiou, philosophe (A quarrel with Alain Badiou, philosopher), Bref sejour a Jerusalem (A short stay in Jerusalem), and most recently the novel Le C/ur de la jeune Chinoise (The heart of the young Chinese). Marty is the editor of the xuvres Completes of Roland Barthes and the Journal of Andre Gide, 1887-1925. Alan Astro is Professor of Modern Languages at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He has translated from French (writers such as Henri Raczymow and Cyrille Fleischman) and Yiddish (in Yiddish South of the Border: An Anthology of Latin American Yiddish Writing).