The Mighty Walzer

The Grandiosity of Unserer

in European Judaism
Aída Díaz Bild University of La Laguna, Spain

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Howard Jacobson is a British author who is proud of being labelled a Jewish writer and does not hesitate to describe himself as ‘entirely and completely Jewish’. He believes that English-Jewish writers should address directly the challenge of being Jewish, which is precisely what he does in The Mighty Walzer (1999). The novel shows once again Jacobson's greatness as a comic novelist and thus reinforces his assumption that the ingenious, joking Jew is the Jew in essence. Like many scholars, Jacobson believes that self-aimed humour has allowed Jewish people to cope with the paradoxical nature of their culture and historical situation. In The Mighty Walzer Jacobson proves to be the Jew par excellence by joking about everything from religion to food, making fun of the contradictions and incongruities of Jewish life.

Contributor Notes

Aída Díaz Bild is Professor of English Literature at the University of La Laguna. She has carried out research and published on eighteenth-century women's writing and on contemporary British and Irish novelists. She has also focused on the important role that humour plays in literature and lately on the key issues in contemporary British-Jewish fiction. She has paid special attention to the way in which British authors such as Martin Amis and Howard Jacobson remember the Holocaust in their novels.

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European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe