Memoirs of an Anti-Semite

A Novel in Five Stories

By Gregor Von Rezzori; Deborah Eisenberg (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172469, 287pp.)

Publication Date: December 4, 2007

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Description
The elusive narrator of this beautifully written, complex, and powerfully disconcerting novel is the scion of a decayed aristocratic family from the farther reaches of the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire. In five psychologically fraught episodes, he revisits his past, from adolescence to middle age, a period that coincides with the twentieth-century's ugliest years. Central to each episode is what might be called the narrator's Jewish Question. He is no Nazi. To the contrary, he is apolitical, accommodating, cosmopolitan. He has Jewish friends and Jewish lovers, and their Jewishness is a matter of abiding fascination to him. His deepest and most defining relationship may even be the strange dance of attraction and repulsion that throughout his life he has conducted with this forbidden, desired, inescapable, imaginary Jewish other. And yet it is just his relationship that has blinded him to-and makes him complicit in-the terrible realities his era.
Lyrical, witty, satirical, and unblinking, Gregor von Rezzori's most controversial work is an intimate foray into the emotional underworld of modern European history.



About the Author
Gregor von Rezzori (1914--1998) studied at the University of Vienna and for a time lived in Bucharest. In Germany, after World War II, he became active as a writer and in radio broadcasting and filmmaking activities. American readers first discovered his writing in English with the appearance of his story "Troth" in "The New Yorker," Von Rezzori's books include "Tales from Maghrebinia," "Oedipus Triumphs at Stalingrad," "The Hussar," "The Death of My Brother Abel," and "Anecdotage," He lived with his wife in a village near Florence, Italy, until his death. His "Memoirs of an Anti-Semite" was reissued by NYRB Classics in 2007.
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of many novels, including "The Book of Evidence," "The Untouchable," and "Eclipse," Banville's novel "The Sea" was awarded the 2005 Man Booker Prize. On occasion he writes under the pen name Benjamin Black.

Deborah Eisenberg is the author of four collections of stories, including "Transactions in a Foreign Currency", "Under the 82nd Airborne", "All Around Atlantis", and "Twilight of the Superheroes". She is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has taught at the University of Virginia and Columbia University.
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