Marci Shore

Postmodernism was conceived largely by the Left as a safeguard against totalizing ideologies. Yet today, it has been appropriated on behalf of an encroaching neo-totalitarianism of the Right. Is French literary theory to blame? And can a philosophy of dissent developed in communist eastern Europe offer an antidote?

For young Polish Jews, the historical injury of the Holocaust is often complicated by their grandparents’ participation in the communist project. Many of the twenty-somethings interviewed by Marci Shore reappropriated their Jewish identity after 1989, and grapple deeply with questions of inner-Jewish politics and their relations with non-Jewish Poles. Affection, hostility, passion… one thing emerges above all: contradiction.