A aparut recent la University of Nebraska Press, in traducerea semnata de Mirela Adascalitei, in prestigioasa serie “Studies in Antisemitism” coordonata de istoricul Robert Wistrich, excelenta lucrare a lui Andrei Oisteanu, Inventing the Jew: Antisemitic Stereotypes in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures.
Cu minutioasa pasiune a detaliului, dar si cu o comprehensiva aptitudine sintetica, Andrei Oisteanu, istoric al religiilor, etnolog si critic cultural, propune o veritabila enciclopedie a prejudecatilor din infrastructura folclorica a culturilor est europene. Mai mult, imbinand exemplar rigoarea cu eruditia, el reuseste sa lege aceste elemente “etnotipice” de dezbaterile din zonele intelectuale de varf. Lucrarea lui Andrei Oisteanu trebuie citita de toti cei interesati de originile, impactul si metamorfozele nationalismului radical, ale populismului etnocentric si ale miturilor salvationist-conspiratoriale in lumea de azi.
Recenzia mea la aceasta lucrare de exceptie va apare intr-o respectata revista intelectuala occidentala. Iata cuvintele de pretuire publicate pe coperta patru:
“This scrupulously researched study is a profound revelation of ‘the other’ in western culture. The ‘imaginary Jew,’ in its specifically Romanian and central-east-European incarnation, reverberates through all of Europe’s hellish myth-making, beginning in the first Christian century. The layering of stories and images has the effect of a masterful horror-film. Andrei Oisteanu’s book is an unflinching look at Europe’s darkest secret. It is therefore an indispensible text.”—Andrei Codrescu, MacCurdy Distinguished Professor at Louisiana State University
“This book is erudite, richly documented and intelligently written. Though both a comprehensive and explicit analysis of so many themes concerning the images of the Jews, it is at the same time an implicit critique of an important component of Romanian culture. However, Andrei Oisteanu’s book is above all a very courageous one.”—Moshe Idel, Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University in Jerusalem
“A profound and illuminating anthropological study, with many cultural, historical, social-political, and religious layers about an old-new topic. The image of the stranger says a lot about the stranger’s own history and psychology but perhaps even more so about his neighbor-observer. Between the fictionalized Jew and the real one rests an entire history of thousands of years. The author of this fascinating book offers a thorough, subtle, and lucid description and analysis of a certain location, but its meaning goes well beyond it.”—Norman Manea, Professor of European Literature and writer-in-residence at Bard College