Menachem Feuer – the author of Schlemiel Theory (www.schlemielintheory.com) – just published a new essay entitled: “Discovering the Truth of Sancho Panza: The Meaning of Comedy in Adorno and Benjamin’s Divergent Readings of Don Quixote.” It is a part of a volume for Routledge’s Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy entitled Benjamin, Adorno, and the Experience of Literature. It includes a variety of in-depth essays by great scholars on the differences between these two thinkers by way of Benjamin and Adorno’s readings of literature.
Feuer’s essay uses the schlemiel – the “Jewish Don Quixote” – as a central way of distinguishing between the two thinker’s readings of Don Quixote. According to Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin’s favorite Kafka parable was the “Truth of Sancho Panza.” Benjamin has written of this parable extensively in his work and especially in his famous essay on Kafka.
The point of Schlemiel Theory is to show – as Feuer has done in this essay – that the schlemiel character is an important figure in Jewish Philosophy and can be used heuristically to understand the role comedy plays in Jewish Philosophy, thought, literature, and culture – a role that has yet to receive its due.
Stay tuned for more publications on the schlemiel by the author of Schlemiel Theory. They are on the way.
More schlemiel theory!