Untitled.

Author:Cohen, Joshua
Position:A Scholarly and Literary Symposium - On jewish art
 
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What you see is an artwork: black paper perhaps glued to off-white paper--or maybe it's all just ink?--with the artist's signature and some writing, some of which reads, "Mrs. Chas. Tobias Saratoga 26 Aug 1844." The artist's signature begins with "Aug" too--so maybe a month made this thing? Or a guy named Augustin/a gal named Augustine? I won't describe any more. See for yourself. At least you have a page. I've been working off a screen, a PDF.

What you might not see, however--what no one else I'd forwarded the image around to has seen--seems obvious to me: It's a visual representation of the Jewish Question--it's that question, or an approximate interrogatory, turned into a child(ish) riddle.

I say this because I was told in advance--the only thing that Josh Lambert told me in advance--that this was a Jewish image. The people depicted in it are, or might be, or might have something to do with, Jews. But then, what's on that chair between them? At first I saw a cock--by which I mean a rooster--a male chicken. On second look, it was a dog--a tiny little yapping doggie. Maybe a poodle. Maybe a toy poodle. Be impressed--mine is the first generation of the Cohen family that can...

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