André ACIMAN Jewishness in Americanism
How can we be Jewish in a sexualized consumer’s society?
The patterns, figures, Gestalten of Solomon’s Jewish wisdom is everywhere present in Aciman’s books but he dissolves it in a very standard American façade with here and there one mention of some Jewish heritage or link but in retreating presence from the first novel to the last. It has become purely anecdotic in this last novel.
I study the first novel, Call Me By Your Name, and the last novel, Enigma Variations, and I try to understand what’s wrong with his characters that makes them pathetic and even melodramatically corrugated for normal society to which they only aim to adapt, in which they only aim to dissolve themselves and yet they can’t because deep in their brains, deeper in their flesh, deepest in their penis and phallus, and the two are not the same (check Jacques Lacan on the subject) they are indissoluble because they are Jewish, but they are tortured by the impossibility in the normal consumer’s society of modern America to clearly capture the dual nature of any divine reference and of any sexual dimension.