The Barber in Modern Jewish Culture: A Genre of People, Places, and Things, with Illustrations

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This anthology presents fifty-five works that characterize Jewish barbers, describe Jews who encounter barbers, and identify Jewish authors who write about barbers and barbershops.


“Moving easily between the variety of genres included, [Rothman] is easily equally adept at treating fiction, poetry and cinema, at dealing with older works, modernism and post-modernism. He has put together a unique collection and it deserves to reach a larger audience.” – Maximillian E. Novak, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

"Prof. Rothman has provided a most unusual window into the Jewish experience by compiling such a thoroughly original selection of modern Jewish literature, film, drama and photography across languages and subcultures. This book is unlike any other and is full of surprises." - Dr. David G. Roskies Sol and Evelyn Henkind Professor of Yiddish Literature and Culture and Professor of Jewish Literature Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY

Table of Contents

Foreword – Maximillian E. Novak
Précis of the Table of Contents
Introduction – Irving N. Rothman
Samson, Judges 16:4-31 (ca. 1150 B.C.E) – Hebrew Scripture
Tonsio Judaica: Utrecht barber-surgeon (1662) – Anonymous
The Life of Abraham Israel, a Jew (1735) – Anonymous
“Story of the Baked Head” – (1824) – James J. Morier
“During the Epidemic” (1905, 1927) – Isaac Loeb Peretz
Turlupin (1924) – Leo Perutz
Monkey Business (ca. 1931) – The Marx Brothers
Comedy of Vanity (1934) – Elias Canetti
Call it Sleep (1935) – Henry Roth
DiGrasso (1937) – Isaac Babel
“Boy with His Hair Cut Short” (1938) – Muriel Rukeyser
A Guest for the Night (1939) – Shmuel Y. Agnon
“Reb’ Welvel, Welvel & Willy” (1940) – Jacob Adler
The Great Dictator (1940) – Charles Chaplin
“Okay, Mr. Pappendass, Okay” (1941) – Daniel Fuchs
“Haircut” (1942) – Karl Shapiro
“Elegy on a Lost Boy” (1948-1962) – Yehuda Amichai
“Elegy” (1958) – Antoni Slonimiski
The Magician of Lublin (1960) – Isaac Bashevis Singer
“To a Child Trapped in a Barber Shop” (1963) – Phillip Levine
“The Story of the Nobleman’s Mustaches” (1963) – Itzik Manger
Because I Was Flesh (1964) – Edward Dahlberg
“A Tale of Yesteryear” (1968) – Charnia Bernstein
“A Thief in the Temples” (1970) – Barton Midwood
Post Aetatem Nostram – Joseph Brodsky
The Nazi & The Barber (1971) – Edgar Hilsenrath
“To the Barber Shop” (1973) – Peter Spielberg
Legends from Invalid Street (1974) – Efraim Sevela
Shosha (1974) – Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Book of Zgierz and the Struggle (1975) – David Shtockfish
Fatelessness (1975) Imre Kertész
“Patty-Cake, Patty-Cake . . . A Memoir” (1976) – Max Apple
“Severance Pay” (1976) – Cynthia MacDonald
“The Pious Barber” (1979) – Rodger Kamenetz
Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (1979)- Irving N. Rothman “The Eternal Mystery” (1980) – Yehuda Amichai
“My Father’s Life” (1981) – Leonard Michaels
“Woody Allen: American Prose Humorist” (1983) – Marc S. Reisch
The Physician - Noah Gordon
In Siberia It Is Very Cold (1987) – Lester Goldberg
Scissors (1990) – Charles Baxter
Gets the Barber (1990) – Cheryl Kaplan
Catwalk and Overpass (1990) – Dennis Silk
Elegy and Rant for my Father (1993) – Enid Shomer
The Abbreviated and Tragical History of the Auschwitz Barber (1994) – Brian Evenson
Lanzmann’s Shoah: “Here There is No Why” (1997) – Dominick LaCapra
There Once Was a World (1998) – Yaffa Eliach
Saul and Patsy (2003) – Charles Baxter
In a Village, Where Even the Barber is Jewish (2004) – Bryan Schwartz
Barber of Midtown (2005) – Doug Monroe
It’s a Guy Thing (2006) – David Bogner
The Diary of Petr Ginz 1941-1942 (2007) – Petr Ginz
The Jew of Home Depot (2007) – Max Apple
Selective Critical Bibliography
Authors’ Principal Works
Biographical Sketches
Bittmann’s Vienna Barber Shop (1932) – Kurt Bittman
Barbers World-Wide: A Photo Album (1967-) -Steve Glickman
Diaspora: Homelands in Exile (2003) – Frédéric Brenner
A Shave and haircut in the Middle East (2004) – Eric Grosman
A Snip in Time (2004) – Adriana Groisman
Index to the Selected Critical Bibliography

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