Is Jew/Greek Greek/Jew; or does 'Hebrew' mean Cross-over? the Tightrope, the Window, and the Text- an Excursus on Identity
An exercise in academic signature, 'Is Jew/Greek Greek/Jew : or does 'Hebrew' mean Cross'over?' tries to account for the differential claims on identity when one finds oneself, at the same time, a religious Jew and a university professor specializing in secular texts. What does such a one, in fact, profess? How to negotiate the (mostly figurative) translation of Greek into H ebrew, and H ebrew into Greek, in a m ore than m erely academ ic sense- indeed when 'the academic' offers but one of several competing possibilities for personal and social identities? Preferring a 'Mauriacois' style of narrating the self by reference to the books in one's library, to something more Rousseauistic and chez soi, the author appeals throughout to the w ork of Emmanuel Levinas in a programmatic move that shows how the task of mediation begins of necessity in the sphere of the already-mediated. The 'tightrope, window and text' of the article's subtitle, then represent three tropes around which the problematic of mediated identity is posed. The titular questions, finally, remain less answered than- in Kenneth Burke's signature form ulation- 'danced'.
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