Bream Gives Me Hiccups

Jesse EisenbergFrom Tablet Magazine

Jesse Eisenberg talks about Woody Allen, Obama’s tailor, Jewish humor, and his new collection of funny short stories
By Tal Kra-Oz

I’m writing in a tradition of, frankly, mostly Jewish writers. You could say that Woody Allen is the most important father of this. And while I don’t think of what I’m writing as particularly Jewish, when you print out the pages, after it’s done, you realize that it’s in the tradition of Jewish writers. I think there’s something in writing humor, writing this kind of fiction, that actually dovetails with the Jewish-American experience, or with the Jewish experience in general, which is that Jews have a way of both assimilating and separating, and they do it very deftly. They’ve done it in Europe, they’ve done it in America. It’s not Machiavellian, it’s just habitual. And this kind of writing manifests from that because you’re both commenting as an observer and also immersed as a player, and it’s that strange world perspective of the kind of outsider-assimilator that creates a funny and often compelling juxtaposition.

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