Bintel Blog

Deracination Chic

By Alana Newhouse

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Critic and writer Elizabeth Hardwick passed away this week, and the New York Times obituary features a classic quote from the Lexington, Kentucky native: “Even when I was in college, ‘down home,’ I’m afraid my aim was — if it doesn’t sound too ridiculous — my aim was to be a New York Jewish intellectual,” she told an interviewer in 1979. “I say ‘Jewish’ because of their tradition of rational skepticism; and also a certain deracination appeals to me — and their openness to European culture.”

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