Embodied Differences: The Jew’s Body and Materiality in Russian Literature and Culture by Henrietta Mondry
This book analyzes the ways in which literary works and cultural discourses employ the construct of the Jew’s body in relation to the material world in order either to establish and reinforce, or to subvert and challenge, dominant cultural norms and stereotypes. It examines the use of physical characteristics, embodied practices, tacit knowledge and senses to define the body taxonomically as normative, different, abject or mimetically desired. Starting from the works of Gogol and Dostoevsky through to contemporary Russian-Jewish women’s writing, broadening the scope to examining the role of objects, museum displays and the politics of heritage food, the book argues that materiality can embody fictional constructions that should be approached on a culture-specific basis.
Year first published: 2021