Abstract

What importance could the radical empiricism of William James have for the ordeal of Meyer Levin? Following the suppression of his staging of The Diary of Anne Frank, Levin decried the excision, in the authorized Broadway production, of key references to Anne’s budding Judaism and to the Jewish particularism of Holocaust atrocities. Because the Communist-influenced Broadway script emphasizes the wrongs implied by universal, rather than specific, expressions of tyranny, James’s philosophy anticipates, and perhaps even helps frame, Levin’s still-pertinent charge that generalization abets both Holocaust denial and efforts to disavow Jewish identity, particularism, and nationalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. A234-A248
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-23
Open Access
No
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