Print Story a request for help from the collective Husian Jewry
Religion & Philosophy
By 256 (Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 07:33:15 PM EST) (all tags)
as some of you already know, i'm a good part of the way through writing a novel which has as one of its major themes the cultural identity and baggage of north americans of mixed heritage (i.e., most north americans).

way back in 2003, when i was first outlining my ideas for this novel, i somewhat arbitrarily designated one of my protagonist's grandparents to be a German-American Jew. i had originally intended this grandparent to be a relatively minor character however, as the story developed, it became clearer and clearer that this was not going to be the way of things. as a result, i've found myself having to address in the work the issue of Jewish identity.


this is obivously a dangerous subject for someone who is not Jewish to write about and, if my writing is going to be inflammatory, i want it to at least be knowingly inflammatory. as such, i've been doing quite a lot of reading on the subject but, unsurprisingly, am quite out of my depth. imagine, if you will, a goy like myself trying to make sense of: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_a_Jew

so i'm hoping that someone out there will volunteer to help me out by first answering a few general questions about Jewish identity and then, maybe, being a sounding board for specific ideas and scenarios i am incorporating into the novel.

i'm interested in the perspective of anyone who considers themselves even a little bit Jewish (in fact, if you're conflicted about it, i'm probably more interested, not less)

thanks for reading.

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I don't think mere commentary would be enough by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 11:34:52 PM EST
You may have to spend some serious time with some Jewish people to really understand and make your characters believable. You'd also need the characters to be reviewed by people who were in a position to criticise.

i know by 256 (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 03:27:53 AM EST
and i'm hoping that in the end people will volunteer to do just that kind of reviewing for me. and trust me, i am not trying to write a novel about Jewish Identity (others much more qualified than I have tackled that many times over). I am writing a novel which is partly about cultural identity as a whole and which has Jewish Identity as one of its facets.

i know this isn't going to be easy, but i do think that it is possible for one to write realistic characters with life experiences unique from the writer's.


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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Reading by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 11:29:10 AM EST
Leo Rosten and Sholom Aleichem. The stories and style will give you much to go on. Sarah Silverman and Roseanne Barr not so much.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

a request for help from the collective Husian Jewry | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback