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The Secular RabbiPhilip Rahv and Partisan Review$
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Doris Kadish

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781800859661

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781800859661.001.0001

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(p.1) Foreword
The Secular Rabbi

Doris Kadish

Liverpool University Press

This chapter begins with the book’s point of departure, the love affair my mother had with Philip Greenberg, who adopted the pen name Philip Rahv. It presents the book as part biography, part history, part literary analysis, part cultural studies, and part memoir. It identifies the key components of the book: textual analyses woven together with historical accounts, genealogy, memoirs by Rahv’s colleagues, friends, and associates, interviews with persons who knew him, and the abundant body of secondary scholarship devoted to the New York intellectuals, the history of Partisan Review, and Jewish studies. In keeping with the feminist notion of positionality, this chapter addresses the issue of what it means for a 21st-century woman to write about an author who unquestionably belongs to “the world of our fathers,” to use the title of Irving Howe’s magisterial study of Eastern European Jews in America.

Keywords:   biography, genealogy, memoir, cultural studies, New York intellectuals, Jewish studies, Partisan Review, Irving Howe, positionality, textual analysis

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