Unheroic Conduct by Daniel Boyarin
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Unheroic Conduct
By Daniel Boyarin

Unheroic Conduct

The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man

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Format: Paperback

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Unheroic Conduct by Daniel Boyarin

Book Description

In a book that will both enlighten and provoke, Daniel Boyarin offers an alternative to the prevailing Euro-American warrior/patriarch model of masculinity and recovers the Jewish ideal of the gentle, receptive male. The Western notion of the aggressive, sexually dominant male and the passive female reaches back through Freud to Roman times, but as Boyarin makes clear, such gender roles are not universal. Analyzing ancient and modern texts, he reveals early rabbis - studious, family-oriented - as exemplars of manhood and the prime objects of female desire in traditional Jewish society. Challenging those who view the 'feminized Jew' as a pathological product of the Diaspora or a figment of anti-Semitic imagination, Boyarin argues that the Diaspora produced valuable alternatives to the dominant cultures' overriding gender norms. He finds the origins of the rabbinic model of masculinity in the Talmud, and though unrelentingly critical of rabbinic society's oppressive aspects, he shows how it could provide greater happiness for women than the passive gentility required by bourgeois European standards. Boyarin also analyzes the self-transformation of three iconic Viennese modern Jews: Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis; Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism; and Bertha Pappenheim (Anna O.), the first psychoanalytic patient and founder of Jewish feminism in Germany. Pappenheim is Boyarin's hero: it is she who provides him with a model for a militant feminist, anti-homophobic transformation of Orthodox Jewish society today. Like his groundbreaking "Carnal Israel", this book is talmudic scholarship in a whole new light, with a vitality that will command attention from readers in feminist studies, history of sexuality, Jewish culture, and the history of psychoanalysis.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520210509
ISBN-10: 0520210506
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 433
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 11-Jun-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Books By Author Daniel Boyarin

Socrates and the Fat Rabbis by Daniel Boyarin Socrates and the Fat Rabbis, Paperback (June 2012)

What kind of literature is the Talmud? This title suggests that both the Platonic and the Talmudic dialogues are not dialogic at all. It singles out Menippean satire as the most important genre through which to understand both the Talmud and Plato, emphasizing their seriocomic peculiarity.

Queer Theory and the Jewish Question by Daniel Boyarin Queer Theory and the Jewish Question, Paperback (November 2003)

This volume maps the historically resonant intersections between Jewishness and queerness, between homophobia and anti-Semitism, and between queer theory and theorizations of Jewishness. It explores the modern Jewish and homosexual identities which emerged as traces of each.

» View all books by Daniel Boyarin

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Author Biography - Daniel Boyarin

Daniel Boyarin is Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture (California, 1993) and A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (California, 1994). Chapter 5 of Unheroic Conduct, "Freud's Baby, Fliess's Maybe; Or, Male Hysteria, Homophobia, and the Invention of the Jewish Man," received the Crompton-Noll Award of the Modern Language Association Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

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