In the century between 1847 and 1947, a handful of men and women changed the world.
Many of them are well known—Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Kafka. Others have vanished from collective memory despite their enduring importance in our daily lives. Without Rosalind Franklin, for example, genetic science would look very different. Without Fritz Haber, there would not be enough food to sustain life on earth. What do these visionaries have in common? They all had Jewish origins.
Norman Lebrecht has devoted half of his life to researching the mindset of the Jewish intellectuals, writers, scientists, and thinkers who turned the tides of history and shaped the world today as we know it. His conclusions are featured in his book Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947. In this Museum program, Lebrecht is in conversation with Museum Trustee Matthew Goldstein, former chancellor of the City University of New York, about Genius & Anxiety.
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Ariel Kates: Good afternoon everyone Thank you so much for joining us, my name is Ariel Kates i'm the director of marketing at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
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Ariel Kates: Now, in its 24th year the museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating our diverse community about Jewish life and heritage, before, during and after the Holocaust.
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Ariel Kates: As part of that mission our programs are meant to illuminate the stories of survivors broader histories of hate and anti semitism through time.
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Ariel Kates: stories of resistance against injustice in the accomplishments of Jews throughout history, today we are here to learn about genius and anxiety how Jews, change the world from 1847 to 1947.
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Ariel Kates: Throughout today's program i'll be off camera, but I will be here in the chat for any thoughts that you have, if you have questions specifically for our speakers I just ask that you please put your questions into the zoom Q amp a function just helps me to keep track of everything.
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Ariel Kates: And we'll get to as many of those as we can, at the end of the hour, so it is an my honor to introduce today's speakers to you.
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Ariel Kates: Norman le breath the breath is a historian cultural commentator broadcaster and award winning writer his 12 books about music has been translated into 17 language.
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Ariel Kates: among his best selling titles are the maestro myth, who killed classical music and why lawler librettists first novel the song of names one a white bread award in 2003.
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Ariel Kates: And it was filmed in 2018 and 19 with TIM Roth and Clive Owen in the leading roles and of course we're here to discuss his most recent book genius and anxiety.
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Ariel Kates: Matthew Goldstein is a museum trustee and, as the former Chancellor of the city University of New York.
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Ariel Kates: He was the first cuny graduate to leave the university Goldstein has also served and senior academic and administrative positions for more than 30 years, including as President of berklee college.
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Ariel Kates: Of the Research Foundation and as acting Vice Chancellor for academic affairs at cuny so Norman and Matthew Thank you so much for being here with us this afternoon and take us take us away into genius and anxiety.
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Matthew Goldstein: Thank you, Ariel.
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Matthew Goldstein: Norman, thank you for being with us today and.
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Matthew Goldstein: I look forward to a a lively discussion.
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Matthew Goldstein: I want to say at the start that I think you've written an important book.
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Matthew Goldstein: A book that I would recommend.
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Matthew Goldstein: To many of our viewers today and i'm and I have read it twice.
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Matthew Goldstein: In part, and before I even knew that we were going to have a zoom call I read it, and then I read it again.
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Matthew Goldstein: which I do with books that that touched me and in very special ways, so if we can begin norm and I i'd really like to start.
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Matthew Goldstein: With the Dreyfus affair which i'll talk to in a second, but before before we do that.
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Matthew Goldstein: Think Felix mendelssohn a brilliant composer conductor.
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Matthew Goldstein: descendant of Moses mendelssohn.
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Matthew Goldstein: Is a a figure from.
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Matthew Goldstein: The music the classical music world that is always touched me and in very special ways, and I think your treatment of Felix mendelssohn in the book is is brilliant and that it sets forth a number of things that you refer to as existential angst.
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Matthew Goldstein: People who do very important things, but have great trauma.
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Matthew Goldstein: In their lives that manifests themselves in in very interesting ways.
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Matthew Goldstein: Felix mendelssohn was.
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Matthew Goldstein: Richard wagner's, as you say bet WHA.
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Matthew Goldstein: He was ruthless and his criticism of.
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Matthew Goldstein: Of the young Felix mendelssohn who died at a very young age, I think it was 38 Norman if i'm wrong, you can correct me on that.
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Matthew Goldstein: He he suffered, I believe.
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Matthew Goldstein: With a lot of insecurity manifested by his deep relationship with his sister fanny, who was a composer as well, and not treat her well because, in part, he thought it would detract from his own fame.
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Matthew Goldstein: And I, and I think the Felix mendelssohn.
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Matthew Goldstein: story.
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Matthew Goldstein: Really, is one that Jews have experienced throughout their history and if we restrict ourselves between 1847 and 1947 which included two world wars.
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Matthew Goldstein: alpha Dreyfus looms very large.
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Matthew Goldstein: In that history.
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Matthew Goldstein: Dreyfus.
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Matthew Goldstein: was an altar artillery officer who was falsely convicted of passing military secrets to the Germans.
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Matthew Goldstein: He was sentenced and eventually pardoned by a.
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Matthew Goldstein: A French president.
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Matthew Goldstein: But his.
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Matthew Goldstein: trial.
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Matthew Goldstein: awakens a tribe tribal fear.
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Matthew Goldstein: Amongst his fellow Jews who interpreted as a token of their marginality and therefore of their opportunity.
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Matthew Goldstein: I wondered Norman if you could jump in and tell us what your views are of the Dreyfus affair and why you think it was a pivotal part in the awakening of Jews in the mid.
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Matthew Goldstein: late in the 19th century and mid 20th century.
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Matthew Goldstein: To all of the problems that we actually.
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Matthew Goldstein: Experienced today as well.
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Norman Lebrecht: hey Matthew well if you don't mind i'll start with medicine, or perhaps i'll start even a little bit before that.
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Norman Lebrecht: genius and anxiety exists to answer a question that's preoccupied before much milder I love life between the middle of the 19th in the middle of the 20th century's.
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Norman Lebrecht: The most fertile period in human history.
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Norman Lebrecht: About three dozen individuals change the way that we see the world.
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Norman Lebrecht: Almost half of them are Jews and that's the question How is that possible, how is it possible that a minority of naught point naught 2% of world population can amount to to half of the new ideas that are pumping through the the most inventive period.
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Norman Lebrecht: Ever since the creation.
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Norman Lebrecht: So what is it that propels the Jews in this period to the foreground what is it that enables them what is it that inhibits them and those two things are what creates genius and anxiety genius is the enabler.
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Norman Lebrecht: anxiety is the inhibitor and anxiety, we see first and phil mickelson Felix mendelssohn was baptized as a boy.
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Norman Lebrecht: His father, he was the grandson of the great Jewish philosopher Moses mendel's and it was orthodox was devout who was respected as the first Jewish intellectual, who was able to have dialogue with German Christians.
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Norman Lebrecht: His grandson is converted in order to help him advanced within Christian society that the sons of mendelssohn the children of Moses Mendelsohn their life came to the conclusion.
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Norman Lebrecht: that the ultimate role of the Jews was to assimilate and that's how mendelssohn was was baptized.
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Norman Lebrecht: And throughout his adult life is short adult life, he was the perfect Christian Protestant gentleman, he was a friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert he was the only outsider who was allowed.
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Norman Lebrecht: into the the children's rooms at Buckingham Palace, where he and the Queen would play lullabies to the children, he was.
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Norman Lebrecht: beloved and respected of the kings and Queens of Europe, he wrote great odes for the Protestant church, perhaps the most famous Ode that he wrote was the reformation and.
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Norman Lebrecht: The Reformation symphony right a symphony in honor of Martin Luther the man who saved Christianity as Protestants would see it, and when you take a look at 330, and this is where I started, as it were, my.
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Norman Lebrecht: examination of how the minds of these inventive Jews worked when you look at the reformation symphony um and you come to the third movement you hear a thing that goes something like this, no, no.
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Norman Lebrecht: And i'm guessing the Jewish members of the audience, you can recognize that fairly quickly for some reasonably accurately it said no, no.
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Norman Lebrecht: Okay it's it's it's it's the cheering that you hear played over Lol speakers as they are about to land been going on airport he does a a very old Jewish tune.
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Norman Lebrecht: That is infiltrated the most Christian the mendelssohn's words the reformation symphony obviously not consciously didn't plant it there he's not waving a little blue and Mike flight.
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Norman Lebrecht: But it's functioning, there is a signal of whom mendelssohn really is, and of how his anxiety functions i'll give you one more example example about meddlesome before we come to before we come to drive the Dreyfus affair and that's this.
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Norman Lebrecht: If I asked for a show of hands on chat.
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Norman Lebrecht: For the most popular mendelssohn's works what is going to pop up you've got 321 to tell me on chat.
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Norman Lebrecht: What do you think is the most popular and important the wedding march yeah good okay fine, yes, yes that's very good now more wedding march Elias Elijah ammonia with your wedding march yeah we're coming through we got one right violin concerto.
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Norman Lebrecht: The signature worker fulfills Middleton the binding contract.
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Norman Lebrecht: It is the only work.
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Norman Lebrecht: in which he suffers a blog mendelssohn normally fertile proposal he writes everything with the greatest of ease from childhood bias teens people are comparing him to Mozart.
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Norman Lebrecht: He has such fluidity when it comes to the violin concerto he has a block it takes him six years now nothing, nothing, nothing gets in so much trouble as fun and concerto and he's writing it for a fellow Jew filled in on darby to his concert master and lexi.
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Norman Lebrecht: And it's not going well in fact it's not going at all, he can't he can't unlock it because it is a violin concerto and the violin is very closely associated as a Jewish instrument and finally finishes it and.
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Norman Lebrecht: it's ready for performance and he rehearses it after rehearsal he just goes home and lines down can't deal with it anymore, and when the performance comes you know it's a headache he can't conduct he can't adopt its own violin concerto.
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Norman Lebrecht: And you have only to listen to the violin concerto to know why that is.
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Norman Lebrecht: Because.
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Norman Lebrecht: No contract opens with such a precipitated entry to the solo instrument normally after mendelssohn.
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Norman Lebrecht: Listen to any Mozart concertos which is.
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Norman Lebrecht: There, a lot of orchestral decorations are playing around and eventually once you've got used to the general background after five six minutes solo instrument comes in, with mendelssohn it comes in, like a quarter of a champagne bottle it burst out in the whole of the concerto person.
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Norman Lebrecht: It is, it is, and each the most intimate expression of his jewishness.
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Norman Lebrecht: That you will find in the entire of and I give many more examples in the book, but you have only to listen to that the agenda and then to look at the before me history of that concerto almost all of which up until the last.
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Norman Lebrecht: two generations has been in the hands of leading Jewish violinists to see how this confluence works.
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Norman Lebrecht: That Matthew is suggesting i'm going to jump forward now to the other end of the century to the drivers for one of us.
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Norman Lebrecht: appalling and enduring injustices against the Jew.
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Norman Lebrecht: That has been committed in two millennia of European history, a loyal French.
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Norman Lebrecht: army officer is set up by traitors to take a fall for their own actions inspiring for Germany they blame it on drivers drivers is from alsace-lorraine where most French Jews, including my family originated.
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Norman Lebrecht: And he has a German name, because he has a German name, he is a German spy is immediately his redemptive Center devils island he spends years in the most appalling conditions eventually he's brought back.
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Norman Lebrecht: Much much later he has given some kind of his restored to the army broken down but he's still fights all the way through the First World War, he goes back to his Regiment and he fights for years.
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Norman Lebrecht: In the French trenches and the First World War.
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Norman Lebrecht: It was, I think I need to look it up in genius and anxiety, I think it was only.
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Norman Lebrecht: In 2006.
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Norman Lebrecht: That a French President made a formal apology.
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Norman Lebrecht: For the persecution.
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Norman Lebrecht: Of alpha drivers and admitted that the French state of being wrong with the army had been wrong the drivers was an innocent man and the whole of the French judicial process had been driven by an Anti Semitic budget agenda.
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Norman Lebrecht: What happens in France at this time is that the whole society is.
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Norman Lebrecht: Is bifurcated you're either pro drivers or anti drivers because almost impossible if you were if you were certainly if you remember in the intellectual classes, it was impossible not to take sides.
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Norman Lebrecht: And in some way or other, those who took size can be divided into the the you know good and evil.
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Norman Lebrecht: There were people like George Clinton, so the future Prime Minister of France, who was the brave man who turned his newspaper into and supportive right, so it was Emile Zola public defenders jackie's.
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Norman Lebrecht: against the French state that was persecuting this innocent Jewish officer, there were there was Sarah and Sarah bernhardt the most famous woman in France, possibly the most famous on the 19th century.
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Norman Lebrecht: who not only stood up for Dr for us but proclaimed her jewishness and and identified with him as as a Jew, in a way that you'd never done before, so the whole of France was split by this and out of this.
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Norman Lebrecht: Out of this comes an unexpected byproduct.
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Norman Lebrecht: There was an Austrian journalist in Paris.
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Norman Lebrecht: he's not a very good journalists, we.
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Norman Lebrecht: Have you seen until that point he is a failed playwright he's only ever wanted to be.
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Norman Lebrecht: Was somebody who put on plays at the book down in Vienna and play after play he got turned down so we had to get a job as a journalist.
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Norman Lebrecht: And he was lucky enough to get centers of correspondence Paris and he watched the drivers trial and the drivers trial made him not just a Jew, but the first sign is his name is Theodore hurt so out of the sinus trial comes the Jewish State.
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Matthew Goldstein: Which is the irony.
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Matthew Goldstein: The irony of ironies is.
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Norman Lebrecht: Indeed, the Jewish state is the work is the title of the work that Theodore hurts the road.
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Norman Lebrecht: Where I do to.
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Norman Lebrecht: facilitate the conditions by which humanity could never again stage another Dreyfus trial.
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Matthew Goldstein: And and Theodore drives.
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Matthew Goldstein: really was the impetus, the early impetus for the establishment of the State of Israel.
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Norman Lebrecht: yep yep.
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Matthew Goldstein: So, Dr Scott is rewards and a very unexpected way as.
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Norman Lebrecht: As you said, this is all this is all so coincidental because.
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Norman Lebrecht: You look.
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Norman Lebrecht: At the various you look at the evolution of Zionism you look at the early movements in Russia in the 1870s you look at the way that that.
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Norman Lebrecht: elliot's novel Daniel do rhonda.
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Norman Lebrecht: sparked a Zionist awakening in its goodish translation and you look at all of these things you know when people like Max nordahl and various others and start coming together without hassle it couldn't have happened.
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Norman Lebrecht: or two reasons.
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Norman Lebrecht: For two reasons, one was hard soul.
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Norman Lebrecht: was a phenomenal activist, I mean once he got his teeth into something this was probably the only thing you ever got his teeth into once he got his teeth into it, he was not going to let go until he.
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Norman Lebrecht: until he seen the cancer and deleting the leaders of the various countries until you've actually been to Palestine until he had created.
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Norman Lebrecht: a physical presence that would be the nucleus of jurisdiction, the second was hits hurt so tall man long beard black beard.
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Norman Lebrecht: charisma absolute charisma, there was no one else in the Zionist movement, then the next 50 years, who had the power to attract and inspire and fill a room and and and sell an event for the Holocaust Museum.
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Norman Lebrecht: Like.
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Norman Lebrecht: Life theater itself without that personality and it was it was it was a deeply troubled.
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Norman Lebrecht: Very self questioning and very, very.
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Norman Lebrecht: unhappy personality, but with that personality of hurt, so it is unlikely that Zionism would have been fulfilled in the way that it has been.
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Matthew Goldstein: Yes, sticking with the French for a while.
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Matthew Goldstein: George does a.
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Matthew Goldstein: comes on the same.
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Matthew Goldstein: Rights a very controversial opera Carmen.
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Matthew Goldstein: which people are outraged about.
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Matthew Goldstein: mary's a young ingenue generally higher levy, who is Jewish, although George a bj was not Jewish.
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Matthew Goldstein: She gives birth to a boy who was called Jacques busy.
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Matthew Goldstein: And sharpies a one day brings home a wonderful young friend Marcel Proust.
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Matthew Goldstein: and, interestingly Marcel Proust has the Jewish mother as well.
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Matthew Goldstein: Although he never portrayed himself as a Jew Jews would say that he's Jewish he has a Jewish mother, so you have these two young.
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Matthew Goldstein: boys, both with Jewish mothers and proofs turns out to be one of the greatest French writers of all time, certainly at the time in which he is writing.
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Matthew Goldstein: But there's a paradox which I, I hope that you could elucidate our listeners about.
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Matthew Goldstein: paradises his Jewish identity as an insider.
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Matthew Goldstein: outsider wondering if you could talk a bit about that and also his magnum opus this is Proust magnum opus and search of last time.
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Matthew Goldstein: where he embellish his time as a an illusion.
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Matthew Goldstein: The past the present the future they're all intertwined.
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Norman Lebrecht: Their by their by paving the way for someone you're dying to talk about but yourself as a.
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Norman Lebrecht: chance to talk about.
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Matthew Goldstein: So that's my lead in to that and I wondered if you could.
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Matthew Goldstein: Let me take you elaborate a bit.
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Norman Lebrecht: Sure, let me take two steps back the most popular opera from the late 1860s until the present day, be the absolute box office certainty.
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Norman Lebrecht: is called is Carmen by George bz.
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Norman Lebrecht: The opening night of Carmen.
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Norman Lebrecht: was attended by all the great composers in Paris, Paris and they like to be there, everybody like busy was a really nice guy and.
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Norman Lebrecht: They also have their shaking their heads, I mean all all the musical mavens of Paris so it's written another flop this isn't going anywhere, this is not going to happen.
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Norman Lebrecht: something about busy something about Carmen they didn't get and one of the things that I was digging into in the book.
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Norman Lebrecht: Is the essence of besides relationship with his wife and we have Jim Vieira, with the daughter of the composer jack from otter levy, who wrote an opera called luxury.
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Norman Lebrecht: The joy is actually the first opera ever written about a Jewish woman, which itself had had a great success, but Jim Vieira was difficult neurotic.
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Norman Lebrecht: unfaithful.
00:25:48.780 --> 00:25:57.060
Norman Lebrecht: it's drawn really appealing in many ways and it's totally unsettling in others.
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Norman Lebrecht: And she is, as I argue in the book she is the model for Carmen you do not understand common until you understand, should be so karmin on stages of gypsies knotted up she she's not a gypsy she's Jewish shouldn't be of.
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Matthew Goldstein: Yes.
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Norman Lebrecht: And then we have then becomes one of the.
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Norman Lebrecht: Genevieve has a fashion munchies after pieces early death she remarries.
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Norman Lebrecht: she's remarried by the Chief Rabbi Paris, no less, and she has a cell or in which all the great artists of Paris come and her son jack brings home.
00:26:36.120 --> 00:26:51.810
Norman Lebrecht: His best friend Meltzer post and Marcel Proust becomes a protege of the woman on whom Carmen has been modeled Marcel Proust has a Jewish mother in some way.
00:26:54.270 --> 00:26:56.880
Norman Lebrecht: his magnum opus Sarah she dumped me.
00:26:58.530 --> 00:27:16.230
Norman Lebrecht: is the product of a Jewish mother as much as it is a product of proves himself, it is, it is a search for the missing mother it's a search for the mother that he doesn't want to let go when he's going to sleep is terrified.
00:27:17.400 --> 00:27:30.690
Norman Lebrecht: How will he ever fall asleep unless his mother is beside him it's a product of it and extraordinarily unhealthy dependence of the boy with the mother and everything flows from that it also flows from his envy.
00:27:31.380 --> 00:27:47.370
Norman Lebrecht: And to be part of the of the upper class that he's seen engine via pieces so on, and every desire to be accepted in this in this glittering society, knowing all the world, he will never be accepted.
00:27:47.970 --> 00:27:57.390
Norman Lebrecht: That he will always be that outside of that outside of hold is what is what makes him the artists that he is within.
00:27:58.440 --> 00:27:59.220
Norman Lebrecht: The work.
00:28:01.080 --> 00:28:23.280
Norman Lebrecht: And I made the mistake of first approaching it in English, there is a better English translation now, but if you can read French you need to approach post in French, because Proust is one of those Jews and there are a number of them Heiner I know China was the first who reconfigure.
00:28:24.420 --> 00:28:45.150
Norman Lebrecht: their mother tongue in Hyena Hyena rights Jerome as nobody has written German before German until high, now is the German of good it's it's it's it's heavy it's full of allusions it, you can you can read two and a half pages before you come to a verb and it.
00:28:47.280 --> 00:28:52.860
Norman Lebrecht: is not to be totally impolite borderline constipated.
00:28:53.880 --> 00:28:57.060
Norman Lebrecht: And with Heiner it becomes direct.
00:28:58.170 --> 00:28:58.770
Norman Lebrecht: Often route.
00:29:01.530 --> 00:29:15.030
Norman Lebrecht: fluent fluid lyrical and comprehensible even to somebody who has no more than six months of German at school okay so high net the Jew.
00:29:16.110 --> 00:29:24.720
Norman Lebrecht: shakes out the German language is nobody's done before post the Joe shakes out the French language as nobody has done with this is the French of malia.
00:29:27.750 --> 00:29:29.940
Norman Lebrecht: This is toast French.
00:29:31.230 --> 00:29:32.520
Norman Lebrecht: Which is.
00:29:33.990 --> 00:29:38.280
Norman Lebrecht: it's quite highly decorated is extraordinarily musical.
00:29:39.330 --> 00:29:44.670
Norman Lebrecht: It is probably the most musical French of its time, apart from possibly the bird parallel.
00:29:46.620 --> 00:29:48.030
Norman Lebrecht: But just the opening.
00:29:49.500 --> 00:29:52.380
Norman Lebrecht: sentence long term is shaded mode.
00:29:54.210 --> 00:29:58.980
Norman Lebrecht: which translates into English is I used to get go to bed early and it's Monday evening.
00:30:00.090 --> 00:30:05.550
Norman Lebrecht: But a lot on from this, we push a the bottle is something else altogether and.
00:30:06.690 --> 00:30:07.830
Norman Lebrecht: As you will have heard.
00:30:09.300 --> 00:30:11.310
Norman Lebrecht: it's in the present continuous.
00:30:13.020 --> 00:30:19.500
Norman Lebrecht: It is written entirely in the present continuous incidentally i've written genius anxiety in the present continuous.
00:30:20.100 --> 00:30:43.830
Norman Lebrecht: Not just because that that seemed to me technically best way to tell my story, but also because the Hebrew language exists only in one tense various other constructs will be put onto it and the 19th 20th centuries, but the light the language of the Bible is that of.
00:30:44.940 --> 00:30:52.290
Norman Lebrecht: The present continuous the King James Bible miss translate to the opening sentence, the Bible in the beginning, God created heaven Earth.
00:30:53.550 --> 00:30:54.210
Norman Lebrecht: Which.
00:30:55.350 --> 00:31:02.760
Norman Lebrecht: All the Jewish executes say it's quite well, it is in the beginning of god's creation of heaven and.
00:31:04.260 --> 00:31:18.420
Norman Lebrecht: The earth is in chaos of Baba Baba Baba blah, it is present continuous, it is not so much the beginning of a story as a story taken from certain point, and then carried on in.
00:31:20.400 --> 00:31:21.930
Norman Lebrecht: transcendence.
00:31:23.250 --> 00:31:43.650
Norman Lebrecht: Of the fixity of time, time is not fixed in the Hebrew language as it is in Greek and Latin, and Western languages, time has no past, present and future time is present continuous so from post and his use of language.
00:31:45.090 --> 00:31:48.870
Norman Lebrecht: We then come to einstein's idea of time.
00:31:51.420 --> 00:31:53.010
Norman Lebrecht: Which is the time is limited.
00:31:54.000 --> 00:31:56.430
Matthew Goldstein: Let me, let me jump in.
00:31:56.580 --> 00:31:56.910
Matthew Goldstein: yeah.
00:31:57.660 --> 00:31:58.050
Norman Lebrecht: And then I.
00:31:58.110 --> 00:31:59.490
Matthew Goldstein: want to loop back to.
00:32:00.510 --> 00:32:04.320
Matthew Goldstein: look back to Freud which I would love to engage.
00:32:04.740 --> 00:32:04.950
00:32:06.150 --> 00:32:07.170
Matthew Goldstein: Einstein.
00:32:09.120 --> 00:32:20.130
Matthew Goldstein: was born and all born Germany, I think, was 1879 if i'm not mistaken hadn't undistinguished childhood.
00:32:21.330 --> 00:32:25.500
Matthew Goldstein: But a upper middle class childhood well educated.
00:32:27.300 --> 00:32:31.590
Matthew Goldstein: gets a job as a patent officer.
00:32:34.110 --> 00:32:40.710
Matthew Goldstein: Nearly completing a PhD in physics, no one ever heard of Einstein.
00:32:42.210 --> 00:32:43.920
Matthew Goldstein: And in 1905.
00:32:45.450 --> 00:32:47.670
Matthew Goldstein: Is on this miraculous.
00:32:48.690 --> 00:32:50.700
Matthew Goldstein: Is miraculous year.
00:32:51.870 --> 00:33:05.850
Matthew Goldstein: He produces for works that in themselves could be awarded a Nobel Prize, they are that innovative the photo electric effect.
00:33:07.800 --> 00:33:09.120
Matthew Goldstein: Brownian motion.
00:33:10.980 --> 00:33:17.340
Matthew Goldstein: Determining the sizes of atoms and the thing that he is most known for.
00:33:18.390 --> 00:33:30.840
Matthew Goldstein: In in the belay world is his special theory of relativity and goes on to develop it further in the general theory of relativity.
00:33:32.610 --> 00:33:43.140
Matthew Goldstein: Mark cock a Polish mathematician one stated, there are two kinds of geniuses.
00:33:44.880 --> 00:33:46.650
Matthew Goldstein: Ordinary geniuses.
00:33:47.730 --> 00:33:49.650
Matthew Goldstein: And magical geniuses.
00:33:51.390 --> 00:34:03.630
Matthew Goldstein: Ordinary geniuses are those who do work that well educated smart people can understand, but they can't do with themselves.
00:34:07.500 --> 00:34:11.700
Matthew Goldstein: The magical geniuses, of which there are few.
00:34:12.960 --> 00:34:18.720
Matthew Goldstein: Do work that we just we can understand it, but we don't know where it comes from.
00:34:20.070 --> 00:34:33.210
Matthew Goldstein: And I would submit that Einstein is one of those magical geniuses that that comes upon the world in a very profound way.
00:34:34.290 --> 00:34:34.980
Matthew Goldstein: and
00:34:37.350 --> 00:34:38.160
Matthew Goldstein: I think.
00:34:40.380 --> 00:34:48.450
Matthew Goldstein: In my way of looking at the world has had a profound impact on our daily lives and really.
00:34:50.040 --> 00:35:01.500
Matthew Goldstein: Next is up the world, as we understand it, that was largely established by Isaac Newton in terms of understanding the physical physical world.
00:35:04.050 --> 00:35:16.140
Matthew Goldstein: You stay two things in in your marvelous book quotes that i've heard before and obviously a touch to in in a similar way.
00:35:17.280 --> 00:35:21.870
Matthew Goldstein: Einstein once quoted if my theory of general relativity.
00:35:23.190 --> 00:35:33.000
Matthew Goldstein: is correct, Germany will click will claim me, as a German and the French will claim me as a citizen of the world.
00:35:34.050 --> 00:35:41.730
Matthew Goldstein: And if it is incorrect French will claim me, as a German and the Germans will call me Joe.
00:35:42.930 --> 00:35:53.610
Matthew Goldstein: it's a delightful little thing that you would expect to hear from Einstein give me a sense about his importance in the world and.
00:35:54.870 --> 00:35:57.480
Matthew Goldstein: His own connection with Judaism.
00:35:58.890 --> 00:36:02.340
Matthew Goldstein: i'd be interested in hearing what you have to say about that.
00:36:03.360 --> 00:36:06.600
Norman Lebrecht: Matthew I think you're absolutely right about magical changes.
00:36:07.350 --> 00:36:21.690
Norman Lebrecht: I don't think we will ever understand what happened to Einstein in those three months in spring of 1900 and five, we cannot see where these papers come from because they're so radical and they're so outside the the frame.
00:36:22.260 --> 00:36:35.010
Norman Lebrecht: of conventional thinking that even now only last month, I saw the newspaper headline maybe two, three weeks ago in the times of London saying Einstein is proof right.
00:36:41.160 --> 00:36:50.310
Norman Lebrecht: We are still we are still trying to understand what it was that brings Einstein, to the point where he does, and there are certain elements here.
00:36:51.360 --> 00:37:00.600
Norman Lebrecht: Above all the elements of time which is, which is a very Jewish thing and will come to the way to the Jewish way that.
00:37:01.350 --> 00:37:13.020
Norman Lebrecht: Einstein explained time in just a moment, but you asked about his Jewish background, he came from a secular Jewish background until he was about 11 years old and then something happened to him and we don't know what we don't know why.
00:37:13.500 --> 00:37:22.020
Norman Lebrecht: But he told his parents that he wanted to be a religious Jew, he made them have a kosher household he made them observe the Sabbath.
00:37:23.340 --> 00:37:36.330
Norman Lebrecht: He studied Jewish texts, he probably learned the whole of the book of songs by heart, if ever you saw Einstein walking down a path in princeton.
00:37:37.410 --> 00:37:49.890
Norman Lebrecht: and his lips moving his lips, he was probably reciting Psalms he was more attached to the Book of Psalms then he was for any other text and, although he declared himself agnostic.
00:37:51.720 --> 00:37:58.830
Norman Lebrecht: He would say that God could be found through the songs after about nine months of religious intensity.
00:38:00.240 --> 00:38:04.860
Norman Lebrecht: He told his parents, he wasn't religious anymore, and they could I could convert back the kitchen.
00:38:07.980 --> 00:38:09.750
Norman Lebrecht: Come which may have comes really but.
00:38:10.920 --> 00:38:21.480
Norman Lebrecht: So he knew his way around Jewish thinking and he knew his way around Jewish texts i'm not going to try to explain relativity, but if you look at.
00:38:22.650 --> 00:38:23.730
Norman Lebrecht: Certainly, look at.
00:38:26.250 --> 00:38:34.950
Norman Lebrecht: The rules of exegesis as practice by the mission on the tablet, in other words the the ways of a traditional understanding.
00:38:35.460 --> 00:38:48.690
Norman Lebrecht: of Jewish religious texts, one of the key principles is that time has no order, there is a rabbinic principal and dump them all carbon, meaning there is no.
00:38:49.440 --> 00:38:54.720
Norman Lebrecht: There is no before there is no early afternoon late in in scripture.
00:38:55.680 --> 00:39:03.840
Norman Lebrecht: In other words, events that you read the things the things that you're liable to read in the Bible it ain't necessarily so, and it's the rabbi's telling us that because they're telling us.
00:39:04.170 --> 00:39:14.370
Norman Lebrecht: This thing that happened actually happened before the event, that is, subsequent to it in the event the proceeds it in in in biblical texts so.
00:39:15.120 --> 00:39:27.900
Norman Lebrecht: In Einsteins early understanding of Jewish thinking and the Jewish documents and Jewish studies, he realizes the time is fluid that we don't have to accept.
00:39:28.860 --> 00:39:37.920
Norman Lebrecht: What goes on on the watch on the plot on the metronome but time is is is within human understanding.
00:39:38.460 --> 00:39:50.310
Norman Lebrecht: is actually a variable once it is variable you can have a completely new approach to the universe, you know when later on, after he had the Nobel Prize.
00:39:51.300 --> 00:40:02.340
Norman Lebrecht: And after he became famous anywhere in the United States for the first time, and the President of the United States, so we couldn't make head or tail of all of this and.
00:40:03.150 --> 00:40:17.580
Norman Lebrecht: There were there were one or two there was a debate in Congress with medical ethics 1922 debating congress on the theory of relativity and only one Senator claim to have half understood it, no matter.
00:40:19.050 --> 00:40:32.220
Norman Lebrecht: I will be asked all the time to explain relativity mostly by journalists and he would give them a couple of pat sentences, and if that didn't satisfy them, he would tell his Secretary to tell him a Jewish joke.
00:40:34.860 --> 00:40:38.130
Norman Lebrecht: joke Is this what are the theory of relativity so.
00:40:41.490 --> 00:40:42.630
Norman Lebrecht: If you.
00:40:44.880 --> 00:40:47.010
Norman Lebrecht: sit on a hot stove.
00:40:48.210 --> 00:40:50.190
Norman Lebrecht: A second can feel like an hour.
00:40:52.140 --> 00:40:54.420
Norman Lebrecht: If you sit with a beautiful woman.
00:40:55.350 --> 00:40:55.920
Norman Lebrecht: An hour.
00:40:56.310 --> 00:40:57.750
Matthew Goldstein: Like a second right.
00:40:58.140 --> 00:41:00.870
Norman Lebrecht: That is einstein's theory of relativity work.
00:41:00.930 --> 00:41:10.290
Matthew Goldstein: Anyway, he he had a wonderful sense of humor and that was his appeal in in the in the.
00:41:11.580 --> 00:41:30.210
Matthew Goldstein: When he met with with journalists, but beyond space time, which is itself a major change in the way in which we view the world his his notion of light.
00:41:31.260 --> 00:41:59.130
Matthew Goldstein: That light, no matter how quick, you are moving always looks the same moves the same doesn't change mean he had very fundamental things about the world that light is composed of waves and photons particles and that when eddington in 1919.
00:42:00.480 --> 00:42:13.080
Matthew Goldstein: went on an expedition to determine if his general theory of relativity was supported by the data Einstein went to sleep that night and said.
00:42:14.040 --> 00:42:26.700
Matthew Goldstein: If i'm if i'm proven wrong, I will feel bad for God or the mighty one because he would be wrong, I mean it was that kind of confidence that that was really.
00:42:27.840 --> 00:42:29.730
Matthew Goldstein: So delicious I.
00:42:29.760 --> 00:42:32.970
Norman Lebrecht: Just wanted a massive we mustn't ignore this, but he also.
00:42:33.630 --> 00:42:43.260
Norman Lebrecht: Had a sense of musical time he was a musician he played the violin he never went anywhere without his violin now musical time is not subjective.
00:42:44.370 --> 00:42:45.120
Norman Lebrecht: If you're going to play.
00:42:46.380 --> 00:42:51.270
Norman Lebrecht: But in a string Quartet with three others you're gonna have to be keeping the same time.
00:42:56.190 --> 00:43:02.670
Norman Lebrecht: But he knew it had to be done, so these these, these are the paradoxes and the contradictions within Einstein which making just.
00:43:02.940 --> 00:43:04.230
Norman Lebrecht: endlessly fascinating.
00:43:04.590 --> 00:43:05.850
Matthew Goldstein: Let me, let me just.
00:43:07.200 --> 00:43:14.250
Matthew Goldstein: A couple more thoughts and then I want to loop back to another famous Australian Sigmund Freud.
00:43:16.500 --> 00:43:19.440
Matthew Goldstein: Einstein is contacted.
00:43:21.240 --> 00:43:29.040
Matthew Goldstein: During the war by a a Hungarian by the name of Leo says loud.
00:43:30.720 --> 00:43:34.260
Matthew Goldstein: And he wants a meeting with Einstein Einstein.
00:43:35.310 --> 00:43:42.120
Matthew Goldstein: adored says lot respected him listen to him and so forth Sid log.
00:43:44.370 --> 00:44:01.170
Matthew Goldstein: was one of a group of Hungarian mathematicians like Jon bon ointment and George polio eugene vintner Paul arrows Marcel Grossman I mean there's a huge group of them.
00:44:02.460 --> 00:44:19.980
Matthew Goldstein: and Andrew grove, who was the former CEO of Intel once told me the following when I introduced Andrew grove after he gave a major gift to the university, I was connected with.
00:44:21.060 --> 00:44:35.430
Matthew Goldstein: that the reason that all of these Hungarian mathematicians and physicists according to Islamic was as good as they were is that they had Jewish teachers.
00:44:36.780 --> 00:44:42.510
Matthew Goldstein: That could not get university positions because of anti semitism.
00:44:43.590 --> 00:44:49.320
Matthew Goldstein: And it is that group of Jewish teachers, that is unknown.
00:44:50.340 --> 00:44:55.230
Matthew Goldstein: Today at all that is largely responsible for.
00:44:57.360 --> 00:45:12.900
Matthew Goldstein: Challenging all of these men and women who were obviously gifted to do the things that they did so, I mean I could go on with relativity and so forth, but we don't have time but i'd like to switch to something that I.
00:45:13.260 --> 00:45:18.270
Norman Lebrecht: Can I can I, let me just chip in with a little car, because the two really important points here.
00:45:20.400 --> 00:45:32.400
Norman Lebrecht: are three actually firstly you're absolutely right, he is part of a Jewish generation in Budapest, who couldn't get into new university, it was numerous classes, they admitted very, very few June Center for scientists their own teachers.
00:45:34.800 --> 00:45:40.140
Norman Lebrecht: Were Jewish and after the First World War, they all migrated to Berlin illogic.
00:45:41.640 --> 00:45:50.130
Norman Lebrecht: clown or to Albert einstein's coattails in Berlin and together they invented a refrigerator this really isn't widely known.
00:45:52.200 --> 00:46:03.840
Norman Lebrecht: And they offered it to they offered it to a big American firm which turned it down and they sold it in the end of the Swedes but i'm keeping he from.
00:46:04.320 --> 00:46:17.280
Norman Lebrecht: Really, as a student, he was already inventing things with Einstein and when he came to the United States in 1938 and saw what the situation was knew how quickly nuclear science was developing in Germany.
00:46:18.720 --> 00:46:29.610
Norman Lebrecht: He persuaded Einstein to write the celebrated letter to Roosevelt, which marked the start of america's nuclear program without which.
00:46:30.210 --> 00:46:44.100
Norman Lebrecht: Who knows where we would be today so see the figure of immense importance he's also very, very attractive figure and he slipped through the cracks in history and there's no way there's no way I was gonna write this book without care doctor.
00:46:44.190 --> 00:46:46.200
Matthew Goldstein: Yes, i'm and i'm glad you did.
00:46:46.230 --> 00:46:49.020
Matthew Goldstein: Because he's also sort of last.
00:46:49.320 --> 00:46:53.760
Matthew Goldstein: Year and importance and it's a wonderful story.
00:46:55.230 --> 00:46:58.800
Matthew Goldstein: Also involved with them was Edward Teller.
00:46:59.970 --> 00:47:00.270
Norman Lebrecht: Was.
00:47:01.320 --> 00:47:03.930
Norman Lebrecht: Going on yeah I mean these guys every single one of.
00:47:04.410 --> 00:47:09.300
Matthew Goldstein: The tour with Einstein but was cast aside by says live.
00:47:10.170 --> 00:47:12.300
Matthew Goldstein: In the time that we have remaining.
00:47:15.270 --> 00:47:28.500
Matthew Goldstein: i'd like to talk a bit about one of the geniuses with profound existential angst and, and that is Sigmund Freud.
00:47:29.880 --> 00:47:43.800
Matthew Goldstein: complicated, to say the least, complicated with his jewishness complicated with his own sense of sexuality deeply controlling.
00:47:44.940 --> 00:47:50.280
Matthew Goldstein: makes a major change in his early years.
00:47:52.170 --> 00:48:14.730
Matthew Goldstein: disavowing the his theories of seduction theories which caused him a lot of angst people thought that he was a fraud was a fraud, I mean it said he went through a tremendous amount of anxiety.
00:48:15.930 --> 00:48:17.880
Matthew Goldstein: and change the world.
00:48:18.960 --> 00:48:20.640
Matthew Goldstein: In a profound way.
00:48:23.280 --> 00:48:37.950
Matthew Goldstein: Talk I know that you and I spoke briefly about this when we spoke a few weeks ago, but tell me your own views of Freud and the the the chant the transformation say he experienced in his own life.
00:48:41.970 --> 00:48:53.370
Norman Lebrecht: So much fraud has been discredited so much of the detail of for just being discredited that it's become quite difficult to speak in defensive for it, but the core principle is this.
00:48:54.360 --> 00:49:02.670
Norman Lebrecht: Fraud established the talking to Freud established the possibility for each and every one of us to go into a form of therapy.
00:49:03.120 --> 00:49:22.050
Norman Lebrecht: That will enable us to achieve better self understanding and a route to the relief of anxiety if Freud had done nothing else that would put him on a pedestal he will remain on that pedestal forever some of his other theories as much more controversial his his theories of sexuality.
00:49:23.250 --> 00:49:31.650
Norman Lebrecht: By placing sexuality at that, at the heart of human emotion and human conflict, he was, of course, absolutely right, but many of his.
00:49:33.150 --> 00:49:36.600
Norman Lebrecht: His his his his personal rights to that were not only wrong.
00:49:37.830 --> 00:49:41.940
Norman Lebrecht: They were also based on his own distortion of that Freud.
00:49:43.440 --> 00:49:48.360
Norman Lebrecht: Frequently tailored the evidence to fit the theory.
00:49:49.980 --> 00:49:58.290
Norman Lebrecht: And we see him very, very often in denial both of the objective facts and indeed of his own.
00:49:59.340 --> 00:50:05.640
Norman Lebrecht: of his own identity fraud identified as a Judas absolutely no question about this.
00:50:08.070 --> 00:50:14.430
Norman Lebrecht: There is a famous speech that he gave his 70th birthday to belabor it and he he defines himself.
00:50:14.670 --> 00:50:28.020
Norman Lebrecht: fully and totally with his brothers in a brief and and and he's being a jerk or being a secular juju doesn't believe in God who doesn't believe in any of the Jewish types who doesn't know any of the States, he would write.
00:50:28.710 --> 00:50:36.120
Norman Lebrecht: Anything he wrote and stated several times that he didn't know anything about the Jewish religion that he couldn't read Hebrew that he.
00:50:36.990 --> 00:50:48.450
Norman Lebrecht: That he had no idea of what went well and he was in complete ignorance of this, and he didn't want to know any of it, you just have to scrape a little bit you just have to do a little bit of fundamental research and you see, for example, for instance.
00:50:48.810 --> 00:50:58.350
Norman Lebrecht: There is a Bible that freud's Father gave him on his 30th birthday in which there is a a fluent have a an inscription.
00:50:58.680 --> 00:51:04.650
Norman Lebrecht: influence Hebrew which clearly his father knew that Sigmund Freud me addresses Shlomo his Hebrew name.
00:51:05.010 --> 00:51:16.980
Norman Lebrecht: The different Freud could read fried new he brought in your world about the Jewish festivals he knew the rhythms of the Jewish year he knew all of these things, it was convenient and possibly necessary.
00:51:17.370 --> 00:51:26.580
Norman Lebrecht: Tonight, because some of his thinking was actually drawn from Jewish sources, and possibly even from.
00:51:28.710 --> 00:51:34.530
Norman Lebrecht: From from rabbinic sources, there is a I find a very, very strong confluence.
00:51:35.850 --> 00:51:47.670
Norman Lebrecht: Between the 13 principles of exegesis that are laid down in the second century AD they're known as the writer of rubbish mile.
00:51:49.440 --> 00:52:00.540
Norman Lebrecht: Between those of those 13 principles of exegesis seven can be found in freud's rules of psychoanalysis so he is aware of these things.
00:52:01.620 --> 00:52:10.710
Norman Lebrecht: If not consciously then as for himself would say unconsciously, and these are he's deeply conflicted about.
00:52:11.820 --> 00:52:25.500
Norman Lebrecht: The essence of being Jewish is prepared to have the passport, but he doesn't form the content, and that is where you start seeing the bits coming apart within floyd.
00:52:29.460 --> 00:52:36.510
Matthew Goldstein: A remarkable man that has had a profound influence on every one of us so.
00:52:37.620 --> 00:52:43.860
Norman Lebrecht: Without any without any question, I mean my favorite story of fraud is that I mean this isn't.
00:52:44.340 --> 00:52:45.360
Norman Lebrecht: something to be.
00:52:45.570 --> 00:52:46.590
Norman Lebrecht: proud of in any way.
00:52:47.850 --> 00:52:50.340
Norman Lebrecht: When he married he married the granddaughter of the grid rabbi and.
00:52:52.680 --> 00:52:57.930
Norman Lebrecht: In fact, the first rabbi in Germany to get a university degree.
00:52:59.370 --> 00:53:15.300
Norman Lebrecht: And when he married he told his wife that she was not allowed to like sort of tablets, there has to be no religious observance in their house, no, no, no superstition know mysticism no nothing that's the rational house, oh no Sabbath candles and she suffered.
00:53:16.350 --> 00:53:16.590
Matthew Goldstein: Yes.
00:53:16.890 --> 00:53:18.420
Norman Lebrecht: sister came to live with them as well.
00:53:19.500 --> 00:53:27.540
Norman Lebrecht: And she suffered to a sister would like the candle secretly in her room but Martha freud's right wife didn't when Freud.
00:53:28.830 --> 00:53:30.780
Norman Lebrecht: died here in London just up the road.
00:53:32.820 --> 00:53:33.810
Norman Lebrecht: In 1938.
00:53:36.390 --> 00:53:49.170
Norman Lebrecht: came back from the funeral and the following day was Friday and on Friday evening before sunset Martha for its widow got out the candles and let them and let them every Friday night for the rest of your life.
00:53:49.890 --> 00:54:00.930
Matthew Goldstein: Yes, yes I I got a kick out of that when I read that in your book I didn't know that at all Norman this has been a an absolute delight for me.
00:54:01.590 --> 00:54:17.490
Matthew Goldstein: And I hope our audience enjoyed it we only scratched the surface of this enormously important book and I would urge everybody to get a copy of it and and read it.
00:54:18.240 --> 00:54:27.690
Ariel Kates: I think I echo this tonight i'm i've put the link on the link to purchase the book in the chat and I will do that again before.
00:54:29.250 --> 00:54:40.500
Ariel Kates: Before the end of the talk is it Okay, if I hop in and ask questions we have gotten a lot of questions specifically about anxiety.
00:54:42.180 --> 00:54:56.070
Ariel Kates: So we have i'm going to try to review a couple of them, because I feel like they're all more or less asking asking similar different facets of other similar things so.
00:54:57.570 --> 00:54:59.310
Ariel Kates: We have a question about.
00:55:00.660 --> 00:55:10.200
Ariel Kates: anxiety as as it relates to genius also Jewish anxiety as it relates to anti semitism.
00:55:12.120 --> 00:55:29.280
Ariel Kates: If you if you think that this was some that anxiety is something that was in these geniuses nature as Jews how how all of these things feel connected to you can can you speak to that a little bit.
00:55:30.570 --> 00:55:31.050
Norman Lebrecht: um.
00:55:32.220 --> 00:55:37.350
Norman Lebrecht: The Jews had a history of persecution in Europe 1500 years of it when emancipation.
00:55:38.580 --> 00:55:46.860
Norman Lebrecht: There is a theory that that that some of the genius some of the explosion of ideas that came from Jews in the middle of the 19th century onwards.
00:55:47.400 --> 00:55:52.860
Norman Lebrecht: was a result of them being allowed out of the ghettos and therefore enable to.
00:55:53.700 --> 00:56:03.690
Norman Lebrecht: To to to connect with Western society and to ratify, in that way actually the maps don't work because they will let out of the ghettos by Napoleon.
00:56:04.680 --> 00:56:24.990
Norman Lebrecht: 70 years earlier, so this is to three generations later, where we see the genius starting to flood through but it floods through with an awareness and ancestral awareness of persecution everybody is aware, all of the time that this could end at any moment Freud makes these terrible mistakes.
00:56:26.820 --> 00:56:35.730
Norman Lebrecht: early on in his career at one point is attracted to a theory that a nasal operation might relief is might relieve hysteria.
00:56:37.680 --> 00:56:41.460
Norman Lebrecht: yeah exactly yeah Mon patient actually dies on the table it's not good.
00:56:45.810 --> 00:56:53.640
Norman Lebrecht: But he's doing it because he's running so hard he's working so fast, and the reason he's working so fast is the fear.
00:56:54.660 --> 00:57:00.900
Norman Lebrecht: that this could all end that the next wave of persecution could come through the next Program.
00:57:01.200 --> 00:57:18.540
Norman Lebrecht: The next expulsion, the next genocide, so the anxiety is embedded in the historical consciousness, I believe, embedded in the genes, I think there is a a Jewish anxiety gene, because if there was you know we're probably all go down and get taken out but.
00:57:20.190 --> 00:57:36.960
Norman Lebrecht: It it's not in the genes it's in it's experiential it's you know it's in our common history and it comes forth actually in the work, and we see this in practically everyone, and one of our responses to anxiety is humor.
00:57:40.350 --> 00:57:42.300
Norman Lebrecht: Freud webinars is come.
00:57:44.070 --> 00:57:46.200
Norman Lebrecht: When when the angelus in Vienna.
00:57:47.820 --> 00:57:53.460
Norman Lebrecht: Fraud gets paid a very early visit by DSS who absolutely clean out his flat.
00:57:54.480 --> 00:57:57.510
Norman Lebrecht: And he says to them as they are leaving.
00:57:59.640 --> 00:58:05.430
Norman Lebrecht: He says yes, gentlemen, this may be the most expensive session i've ever had so.
00:58:08.580 --> 00:58:32.640
Norman Lebrecht: crack jokes with the Nazis, is a Defense mechanism, obviously it is a way of controlling his own anxiety, it is imbued in him, probably for generations but that's that's how the anxiety functions, so the anxiety, as I see it, accelerates and tempers the genius it it it speeds things up.
00:58:34.560 --> 00:58:54.720
Norman Lebrecht: How is it possible that Einstein wrote those three papers in three months, while holding down a day job as as as a clock in a patent attorney's office and having a difficult marriage, besides, you know how is that possible, where does that speed come from.
00:58:55.170 --> 00:59:05.760
Norman Lebrecht: Getting all right that's the anxiety, but then it also person by saying wait a minute stand back from this have you got it right, if you haven't got it right.
00:59:06.420 --> 00:59:16.800
Norman Lebrecht: This would be terrible, not just for you is to be the destruction of the Jewish people they quite a few of the individuals that I, this does seem to where.
00:59:17.700 --> 00:59:25.080
Norman Lebrecht: The fate of the Jewish people on their show to bear the fate of Jewish people on their shoulders Alexander the Great muchness composer.
00:59:25.710 --> 00:59:43.200
Norman Lebrecht: When Hitler came to power offered to give up music and to become the leader who would save the Jewish people from not system, there is a sense of personal responsibility for the fate of the Jews, that also goes into this which to is an aspect of anxiety.
00:59:45.750 --> 00:59:48.450
Ariel Kates: I appreciate that I appreciate that very much.
00:59:49.200 --> 00:59:53.850
Matthew Goldstein: So a phenomenon of geniuses in general.
00:59:55.050 --> 01:00:04.680
Matthew Goldstein: They come out with radical theories that go against the grain of the accepted understanding.
01:00:07.170 --> 01:00:08.400
Matthew Goldstein: Arnold Palmer.
01:00:09.630 --> 01:00:14.160
Matthew Goldstein: These are, these are people who constantly had to fight.
01:00:15.480 --> 01:00:17.670
Matthew Goldstein: To give credit and.
01:00:19.080 --> 01:00:27.000
Matthew Goldstein: Understanding to the work that they did have so Norman you're absolutely right, so thank you for that.
01:00:30.480 --> 01:00:48.600
Ariel Kates: I know I know I know that we are at three o'clock and I want to, I want to be respectful of your time, but if you are willing we've still got folks here with us so maybe I can we can push it and I can ask you just a few more questions does that work for you.
01:00:50.010 --> 01:00:52.560
Norman Lebrecht: yeah I can give you another few minutes here.
01:00:52.920 --> 01:00:54.780
Ariel Kates: Okay, great Thank you so much.
01:00:56.640 --> 01:01:04.470
Ariel Kates: wow there are so many amazing questions here everyone Thank you so much for your participation.
01:01:05.910 --> 01:01:09.510
Ariel Kates: We have a couple of questions about.
01:01:13.140 --> 01:01:13.980
Ariel Kates: About.
01:01:15.090 --> 01:01:16.260
Ariel Kates: sexism.
01:01:17.460 --> 01:01:18.870
Ariel Kates: And and genius.
01:01:20.010 --> 01:01:21.240
Ariel Kates: We have a question.
01:01:22.560 --> 01:01:25.920
Ariel Kates: about the influence of.
01:01:28.560 --> 01:01:43.710
Ariel Kates: The devaluation of women in the in the psyches of of the men who you've been talking about and also, we had a great question, you know how did for i'd write all these papers, while he while he also had a day job.
01:01:44.970 --> 01:01:50.100
Ariel Kates: know me wanted to know what role did his wife play in the writing of those papers.
01:01:51.810 --> 01:01:52.050
Matthew Goldstein: well.
01:01:54.270 --> 01:01:55.800
Matthew Goldstein: Go ahead Norman please.
01:01:57.210 --> 01:01:57.540
Norman Lebrecht: um.
01:01:58.590 --> 01:02:03.990
Norman Lebrecht: For his wife Martha was in denial she never wanted to start psychoanalysis to number one discuss freud's.
01:02:04.770 --> 01:02:14.910
Norman Lebrecht: Sexual theories, she was questioned by some of his students and she changed the subject so she had no direct connection and no role his sister in law.
01:02:15.810 --> 01:02:31.380
Norman Lebrecht: Martha sister had something of a role, she acted at one point, as a kind of assistant receptionist to Freud but I can't say that she had indirect any direct influence and the role of women.
01:02:33.090 --> 01:02:44.610
Norman Lebrecht: has to be seen in terms of the general role of women in the 19th century, which was not necessarily a prominent one, but there are some prominent not standing Jewish women that I discussed in the book.
01:02:47.070 --> 01:02:55.230
Norman Lebrecht: First and foremost, Sarah bernhardt the French actress who invented what we know today as the notion of celebrity.
01:02:56.490 --> 01:02:57.150
Norman Lebrecht: and
01:02:58.350 --> 01:03:04.260
Norman Lebrecht: My understanding of Sarah bernhardt and I, this is an original approach I haven't seen it elsewhere.
01:03:05.850 --> 01:03:17.610
Norman Lebrecht: Is that a her invention of celebrity she had to make yourself the most famous person in France, in order to protect herself from anti semitism.
01:03:18.270 --> 01:03:23.820
Norman Lebrecht: If she was if she reached a level of fame that she was totally visible.
01:03:24.390 --> 01:03:42.240
Norman Lebrecht: Nobody could attack her as a Jew, because that too was out she was completely out with everything so she is the she is the role model for all celebrity seekers from Hollywood to princess Diana to any other character name.
01:03:43.920 --> 01:03:53.160
Norman Lebrecht: Who who use fame both as a weapon and as a Defense mechanism, and it is impossible to underestimate.
01:03:54.810 --> 01:04:09.390
Norman Lebrecht: The role that Sarah bernhardt plays in the French psychic, so much so that, after the liberation in 1944 the first stamp issued by the public, Francis with has the the the.
01:04:11.160 --> 01:04:16.470
Norman Lebrecht: Traditional figure of Marianne on the postage stamp, but the face of marianas our burnout.
01:04:17.610 --> 01:04:25.080
Norman Lebrecht: She is the epitome the embodiment of French womanhood and she is very much a.
01:04:27.810 --> 01:04:37.800
Norman Lebrecht: brother like Proust another one who who who makes her own way in the French language there's a particular lyricism.
01:04:38.280 --> 01:04:49.320
Norman Lebrecht: That is described in the way Sarah bernhardt delivered a line, you can there are one or two recordings, you can hear it on YouTube and it's not very clear, but it, but the her her.
01:04:50.220 --> 01:05:08.520
Norman Lebrecht: Her conquest of the French language in her roles as an actor was entirely individual and totally hypnotic, so much so that you could do 150 stop tour of the United States speaking only French on stage.
01:05:09.780 --> 01:05:11.550
Norman Lebrecht: I don't imagine anybody could do that today.
01:05:13.290 --> 01:05:14.490
Matthew Goldstein: and science.
01:05:16.560 --> 01:05:18.750
Matthew Goldstein: History is very clear with.
01:05:20.220 --> 01:05:21.150
Matthew Goldstein: massage innate.
01:05:22.680 --> 01:05:34.110
Matthew Goldstein: of discrediting women's time scientists diminishing their importance stealing their work, I mean there are lots and lots of examples.
01:05:35.580 --> 01:05:42.060
Matthew Goldstein: One that Norman covers I think quite well is Rosalind Franklin.
01:05:43.500 --> 01:05:57.390
Matthew Goldstein: Who was a crystallography an x Ray crystallography who discovered in one of her prints the double helix.
01:05:58.440 --> 01:06:09.030
Matthew Goldstein: up to that point people thought it was just the helix but she actually saw the double helix which I think Norman refers to as a envy.
01:06:10.590 --> 01:06:15.570
Matthew Goldstein: Yet, she never was acknowledged by Watson and Crick.
01:06:17.220 --> 01:06:23.610
Matthew Goldstein: She wasn't acknowledged at all with the Nobel Prize at the two of them shared.
01:06:24.690 --> 01:06:33.060
Matthew Goldstein: that's one example, there are many, many others in the history of science, that we could spend almost an hour talking about.
01:06:33.390 --> 01:06:35.160
Norman Lebrecht: I stole her work and they disparage them.
01:06:35.760 --> 01:06:37.050
Matthew Goldstein: Yes, absolutely.
01:06:45.180 --> 01:06:45.900
Matthew Goldstein: Anything else.
01:06:47.010 --> 01:06:51.780
Ariel Kates: Oh, my goodness, I could ask you questions all day long um.
01:06:53.040 --> 01:07:03.390
Ariel Kates: Let me think we have, I think we have two questions that i'll finish with the first is from Sarah softness hi Sarah.
01:07:04.530 --> 01:07:13.350
Ariel Kates: Who wants to know if there are visual artists who are included in genius and anxiety, or who you would classify in that way.
01:07:14.400 --> 01:07:21.960
Norman Lebrecht: There is no there's no transformational visual artists on a on a on a on a level on a par with the others, it took.
01:07:23.010 --> 01:07:32.310
Norman Lebrecht: They took a little while longer produce to make their mark in the visual arts, possibly because of the ancestral to boo of the third commandment.
01:07:33.660 --> 01:07:40.140
Norman Lebrecht: Do not make a graven image there's just one that I just started discussing some detail and that's am I doing what in the army.
01:07:41.640 --> 01:07:42.870
Norman Lebrecht: Who was.
01:07:45.030 --> 01:07:47.400
Norman Lebrecht: During the early part of the 20th century.
01:07:49.440 --> 01:07:54.480
Norman Lebrecht: A a kind of a friend and rival of Picasso.
01:07:57.540 --> 01:08:01.560
Norman Lebrecht: and had a very distinctive.
01:08:02.820 --> 01:08:04.260
Norman Lebrecht: unmistakable.
01:08:05.940 --> 01:08:14.940
Norman Lebrecht: kind of portraiture with very long overall faces Modigliani is a fascinating and somewhat tragic figure.
01:08:16.230 --> 01:08:24.720
Norman Lebrecht: I would want one of the things that I like best he used to stop you know, after a day's work artist like to go out to a bar and have a drink.
01:08:25.830 --> 01:08:36.600
Norman Lebrecht: And for a while he would go out for a bar with with with because Oh, but Modigliani being well brought up Jewish Italian boy we're going to go to a bar with a jacket and tie.
01:08:37.650 --> 01:08:43.680
Norman Lebrecht: Because, so we got in his in his in his T shirt and it's smoke so Modigliani stop doing.
01:08:47.910 --> 01:08:49.710
Ariel Kates: amazing Thank you.
01:08:51.120 --> 01:08:54.150
Ariel Kates: And for for our last question.
01:08:56.190 --> 01:09:11.070
Ariel Kates: hold on, let me find it our last question question today comes from Sam just looking looking into the future, and you know more into the present who do you think are modern Jewish geniuses.
01:09:12.090 --> 01:09:15.150
Norman Lebrecht: that's really difficult, I mean does the process continue I.
01:09:16.500 --> 01:09:26.850
Norman Lebrecht: drew a line at 1947 I didn't want to get into end of history discussion is about for emotional state of Israel and what happens after that, but if we.
01:09:27.150 --> 01:09:27.900
Ariel Kates: sense.
01:09:28.380 --> 01:09:46.170
Norman Lebrecht: If we look at the 1990s and the coming of the Internet and and the the rise of the Internet engines of Google and Facebook and various others so many of them appear to have been initiated by people of Jewish origin, so clearly there's something still going on.
01:09:47.910 --> 01:09:50.160
Ariel Kates: that's good it's it's good to know.
01:09:52.530 --> 01:10:06.060
Ariel Kates: Well, thank you so much, everyone who has outstanding questions i'm so sorry, and I really, really appreciate your participation, we would probably be here for it for another few hours, but.
01:10:07.440 --> 01:10:15.060
Ariel Kates: Oh, I see the link to purchase the book apparently isn't working so i'm gonna i'm going to work on that and include.
01:10:15.390 --> 01:10:23.160
Ariel Kates: I will include the link to purchase the book, along with a link to our program survey, we always appreciate your feedback.
01:10:23.490 --> 01:10:39.180
Ariel Kates: And some other information about genius and anxiety in our follow up email, and we will be sending also the link to the video of this conversation, so that you can revisit it revisit the the stories and the anecdotes.
01:10:39.720 --> 01:10:47.370
Ariel Kates: we're so we're so grateful Matthew and Norman for your time for for being here.
01:10:49.260 --> 01:10:56.220
Ariel Kates: Just as a note everything that we do at the museum is made possible through donor support.
01:10:56.850 --> 01:11:14.940
Ariel Kates: So we hope that if you're here you'll consider making a donation to support the museum or becoming a member and joining us for our upcoming programs i'm going to put a link about all of these things into the chat right now.
01:11:15.780 --> 01:11:26.220
Ariel Kates: Thank you again so much everyone for being here, take good care of you and yours, and we hope to see you again soon.
01:11:28.680 --> 01:11:29.250
Matthew Goldstein: so long.
01:11:30.120 --> 01:11:30.720
Norman Lebrecht: Thank you.
01:11:30.810 --> 01:11:32.130
Norman Lebrecht: good night thanks again.
01:11:32.730 --> 01:11:34.200
Norman Lebrecht: Thank you, my pleasure, thank you
Learn More About Norman Lebrecht
Norman Lebrecht is the author of twelve non-fiction books and three fiction books, and also runs a culture blog called Slippedisc, which is “the world’s most read cultural website.” He lives in London and has taught at a number of universities worldwide. Learn more about Lebrecht on his website.
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