Rabbis or Rakes, Schlemiels or Supermen? Jewish Identity in Charlie Chaplin, Jerry Lewis, and Woody Allen
by Robert Liebman
Film/Literature Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1984
In the topsy-turvy world of Yiddish and, later, Jewish-American narrative, the schlemiel reigns supreme, while the superhero who frequently accompanies him is largely ignored.
This larger than life-size, obviously compensatory doppelganger offers startling insights into Jewish fears of inadequacy, inferiority, and powerlessness—fears which are not necessarily unjustified. Continue reading