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Jewish nose

From Wikipedia, in a visual modern way
A man with an exaggerated “Jewish nose” depicted on the cover of an early 20th century joke book
A man with an exaggerated “Jewish nose” depicted on the cover of an early 20th century joke book

Jewish nose or Jew's nose[1] is a usually exaggerated ethnic stereotype[2] that refers to a hooked nose with a convex nasal bridge and a downward turn of the tip of the nose.[3] The 'Jewish nose' was singled out as a hostile caricature of Jews in mid-13th century Europe, and has since become a defining and persisting element of the Jewish stereotype.[4][5] In modern times, on the other hand, it has also been adopted by many Jews as a part of their ethnic identity.

Research has found that this nose type is most prevalent in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, where it is equally prevalent among the Jewish population as it is among the other local populations.[6][7][8] Still, among the Jewish communities outside the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, such as that in the United States, the so-called "Jewish nose" has come to be embraced by part of its bearers as a defining characteristic of their Jewish identity,[9][10] with general attitude toward the trait having changed from mostly negative to mostly positive since the 1950s.[11]

Perceptions

Robert Knox, an 18th-century anatomist, described the supposed Jewish nose as "a large, massive, club-shaped, hooked nose."[4] Another anatomist, Jerome Webster, described it in 1914 as having "a very slight hump, somewhat broad near the tip and the tip bends down."[4] A popular[12] 1848 essay "Notes on Noses" written by solicitor George Jabet under pseudonym Eden Warwick[13] offers quite a different description, and specifies that though this nose is popularly identified as Jewish, it should be properly defined as a 'Syrian nose'. He writes that it is "very convex, and preserves its convexity like a bow, throughout the whole length from the eyes to the tip. It is thin and sharp."[14] (Jabet prided himself in his lack of connection to ideas of others and condemned scientific proofs.[12])

In the mid-19th century, Jewish folklorist Joseph Jacobs wrote: "A curious experiment illustrates this importance of the nostril toward making the Jewish expression. Artists tell us that the best way to make a caricature of the Jewish nose is to write a figure 6 with a long tail (Fig. 1); now remove the turn of the twist as in Figure 2, and much of the Jewishness disappears; it vanishes entirely when we draw the continuation horizontally as in Figure 3. We may conclude, then, as regards the Jewish nose, that it is more the Jewish nostril than the nose itself which goes to form the characteristic Jewish expression."[5]

Joseph Jacobs's explanation of the caricature of a Jewish nose
Joseph Jacobs's explanation of the caricature of a Jewish nose

The statistics cited in the chapter "Nose" of the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–1905) by Joseph Jacobs and Maurice Fishberg, demonstrate that, contrary to the stereotype, the "Jewish", or hooked, nose is found with the same frequency among people of Jewish descent as it is among non-Jewish people from the Mediterranean region generally. The data collected by Jacobs and Fishberg showed that this type of nose is found in the minority of Jews (20–30%) and that the vast majority have a straight nose.[5] In 1914, Fishberg examined the noses of 4,000 Jews in New York and found that only 14% could be described as either aquiline or hooked.[15] In 1906, Felix von Luschan suggested that the arched nose in Jews is not a "Semitic" trait, but is a consequence of the intermixture with the "Hittites" in Asia Minor, noting that other races with Hittite blood, such as the Armenians, have similar noses.[5] The same theory was held in 1910 by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a racialist writer whose ideas on the racial inferiority of Jews influenced the development of Fascism.[16]

A Roman bust falsely identified in the early 20th century as the ancient Jewish writer Josephus, based solely on stereotypes about the Jewish nose. Current scholarship definitively rejects this identification.
A Roman bust falsely identified in the early 20th century as the ancient Jewish writer Josephus, based solely on stereotypes about the Jewish nose. Current scholarship definitively rejects this identification.

A Roman statue depicting a hawk-nosed figure in the collection of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, and acquired in 1891 from Princess Piombino, lacked an inscription in Latin identifying the subject but was presented by the museum in 1925 as Josephus, an identification defended by Robert Eisler. The grounds for Eisler's inference were simply that a notice in Eusebius stated that Josephus, the most famous Jew of his time, had a statue erected in his honour, and this bust, he thought, corresponded to a "crooked", "broken" "Jewish nose" as distinct from the classic aquiline Roman nose. The identification is still widely used online despite the fact that modern scholarship definitively rejects the claim.[17][18][19][20] Hebrews in ancient Near Eastern art, like other peoples, Canaanites for example, who lived to the west of the Assyrian empire, have straight protruding noses.[17][18]

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Robert Knox

Robert Knox

Robert Knox was a Scottish anatomist and ethnologist best known for his involvement in the Burke and Hare murders. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Knox eventually partnered with anatomist and former teacher John Barclay and became a lecturer on anatomy in the city, where he introduced the theory of transcendental anatomy. However, Knox's incautious methods of obtaining cadavers for dissection before the passage of the Anatomy Act 1832 and disagreements with professional colleagues ruined his career in Scotland. Following these developments, he moved to London, though this did not revive his career.

Joseph Jacobs

Joseph Jacobs

Joseph Jacobs was an Australian folklorist, translator, literary critic, social scientist, historian and writer of English literature who became a notable collector and publisher of English folklore.

Maurice Fishberg

Maurice Fishberg

Maurice Fishberg was a Jewish-American physical anthropologist who specialised in the ethnology of the Jews. Fishberg was born in Kamenetz Podolsky and died in New York City.

Felix von Luschan

Felix von Luschan

Felix Ritter von Luschan was an Austrian doctor, anthropologist, explorer, archaeologist and ethnographer.

Semitic people

Semitic people

Semites, Semitic peoples or Semitic cultures is an obsolete term for an ethnic, cultural or racial group. The terminology is now largely unused outside the grouping "Semitic languages" in linguistics.

Hittites

Hittites

The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom, and next an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Šuppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia.

Armenians

Armenians

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the de facto independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around five million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, Brazil, and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian genocide.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain

Houston Stewart Chamberlain

Houston Stewart Chamberlain was a British-German philosopher who wrote works about political philosophy and natural science. His writing promoted German ethnonationalism, antisemitism, and scientific racism; and he has been described as a "racialist writer". His best-known book, the two-volume Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, published 1899, became highly influential in the pan-Germanic Völkisch movements of the early 20th century, and later influenced the antisemitism of Nazi racial policy. Indeed, Chamberlain has been referred to as "Hitler's John the Baptist".

Josephus

Josephus

Titus Flavius Josephus was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for The Jewish War, who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, commonly known simply as Glyptoteket, is an art museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. The collection represents the private art collection of Carl Jacobsen (1842–1914), the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries.

Robert Eisler

Robert Eisler

Robert Eisler was an Austrian Jewish polymath who wrote about the topics of mythology, comparative religion, the Gospels, monetary policy, art history, history of science, psychoanalysis, politics, astrology, history of currency, and value theory. He lectured at the Sorbonne and Oxford, served briefly on the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation in Paris after World War I, and spent fifteen months imprisoned in Dachau and Buchenwald, where he developed heart disease. He is best remembered today for advancing a new picture of the historical Jesus based on his interpretation of the Slavonic Josephus manuscript tradition, proposing a dual currency system to control inflation, and arguing for a prehistoric derivation of human violence in Man into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy. His life and work intersected with those of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alois Riegl, Gilbert Murray, Karl Popper, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, G. R. S. Mead, Aby Warburg, Fritz Saxl, Gershom Scholem, Oskar Goldberg, Martin Buber, and Walter Benjamin.

Eusebius

Eusebius

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphilus, was a Greek historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. In about AD 314 he became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the biblical canon and is regarded as one of the most learned Christians during late antiquity. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor, who was augustus between AD 306 and AD 337.

History

Art historian Sarah Lipton traces the association of a hooked nose with Jews to the 13th century.[21] Prior to that time, representations of Jews in art and iconography showed no specific facial features. "By the later thirteenth century, however, a move toward realism in art and an increased interest in physiognomy spurred artists to devise visual signs of ethnicity. The range of features assigned to Jews consolidated into one fairly narrowly construed, simultaneously grotesque and naturalistic face, and the hook-nosed, pointy-bearded Jewish caricature was born."[21]

While the hooked nose became associated with Jews in the 13th century, the Jewish nose stereotype only became firmly established in the European imagination some centuries later. One early literary use of it is Francisco de Quevedo's A un hombre de gran nariz (To a man with a big nose) written against his rival in poetry, Luis de Góngora. The point of his sonnet was to mock his rival by suggesting his large nose was proof he was, not a 'pure blooded Spaniard', but the descendant of conversos, Jews who had converted to Catholicism to avoid expulsion. In particular, the reference to una nariz sayón y escriba (Spanish for ''a nose of a hangman and scribe'') associates such a nose maliciously with the Pharisees and the Scribes responsible for Christ's death according to the New Testament.[22][23] In his History of the Indies, (1653), Francisco López de Gómara argued for the thesis that the native population of the Americas must have descended from the Israelites, whom, a decade earlier, Antonio de Montezinos/Aharon Levi had claimed were the lost tribes of Israel, by citing the size of their noses.[24]

"The so-called Jewish nose, bent at the top, jutting hawk-like from the face, existed already as a caricature in the sixteenth century […] It became firmly established as a so-called Jewish trademark only by the mid-eighteenth century, however […]"[25]

The hooked nose became a key feature in antisemitic Nazi propaganda. "One can most easily tell a Jew by his nose," wrote Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher in a children's story. "The Jewish nose is bent at its point. It looks like the number six. We call it the 'Jewish six.' Many Gentiles also have bent noses. But their noses bend upwards, not downwards. Such a nose is a hook nose or an eagle nose. It is not at all like a Jewish nose."[26]

According to writer Naomi Zeveloff, "in prewar Berlin, where the modern nose job was first developed, Jews sought the procedure to hide their ethnic identity."[27] The inventor of rhinoplasty, Jacques Joseph, had "a large Jewish clientele seeking nose jobs that would allow them to pass as gentiles in Berlin", wrote Zeveloff.

But this negative view of the Jewish nose was not shared by all Jews; Jewish Kabbalistic texts consider a large nose as a sign of character. In his book "The Secrets of the Face" (Hebrew: חכמת הפרצוף), Kabbalistic Rabbi Aharon Leib Biska wrote in 1888 that Jews have "the eagle's nose". "A nose that is curved down […] with a small hump in the middle attests to a character that seeks to discover the secrets of wisdom, who shall govern fairly, be merciful by nature, joyful, wise and insightful."[28]

Barbra Streisand in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)
Barbra Streisand in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)

Among those seeking surgery to make their noses smaller were many American Jewish film actresses of the 1920s to 1950s. "Changing one's name is to Jewish males what fixing one's nose is to Jewish females, a way of passing,"[29] writes film historian Patricia Erens. One of the actresses to undergo surgery was Fanny Brice, inspiring commentator Dorothy Parker to comment that she "cut off her nose to spite her race."[30] According to Erens, this fashion ended with Barbra Streisand, whose nose is a signature feature.[31] Streisand told Playboy magazine in 1977, "When I was young, everyone would say, 'You gonna have your nose done?' It was like a fad, all the Jewish girls having their noses done every week at Erasmus Hall High School, taking perfectly good noses and whittling them down to nothing. The first thing someone would have done would be to cut my bump off. But I love my bump, I wouldn't cut my bump off."[32]

"As Jews assimilated into the American mainstream in the 1950s and ’60s, nose jobs became a rite of passage for Jewish teens who wanted a more Aryan look," wrote Zeveloff. By 2014, the number of rhinoplasty operations had declined by 44 percent, and "in many cases the procedure has little bearing on […] religious identity."[27]

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Francisco de Quevedo

Francisco de Quevedo

Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas, Knight of the Order of Santiago was a Spanish nobleman, politician and writer of the Baroque era. Along with his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora, Quevedo was one of the most prominent Spanish poets of the age. His style is characterized by what was called conceptismo. This style existed in stark contrast to Góngora's culteranismo.

Converso

Converso

A converso, "convert", was a Jew who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, or one of his or her descendants.

Historia general de las Indias

Historia general de las Indias

Historia general de las Indias is the account by Francisco López de Gómara of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. The first printing was in December 1552, in the workshop of Agustín Millán in Zaragoza, published under the title La istoria de las Indias

Francisco López de Gómara

Francisco López de Gómara

Francisco López de Gómara was a Spanish historian who worked in Seville, particularly noted for his works in which he described the early 16th century expedition undertaken by Hernán Cortés in the Spanish conquest of the New World. Although Gómara himself did not accompany Cortés, and had in fact never been to the Americas, he had firsthand access to Cortés and others of the returning conquistadores as the sources of his account. However other contemporaries, among them most notably Bernal Díaz del Castillo, criticised his work as being full of inaccuracies, and one which unjustifiably sanitised the events and aggrandised Cortés' role. As such, the reliability of his works may be called into question; yet they remain a valuable and oft-cited record of these events.

Antonio de Montezinos

Antonio de Montezinos

Antonio de Montezinos, also known as Aharon Levi, or Aharon HaLevi was a Portuguese traveler and a Marrano Sephardic Jew who in 1644 persuaded Menasseh Ben Israel, a rabbi of Amsterdam, that he had found one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel living in the jungles of the "Quito Province" of Ecuador. This supposed discovery gave a new impulse to Menasseh's Messianic hopes. Menasseh wrote a book about this narrative, The Hope of Israel. In it Menasseh argued, and tried to give learned support to the theory that the native inhabitants of America at the time of the European discovery were actually descendants of the [lost] Ten Tribes of Israel. The book was originally published in Latin and Spanish in 1650, but its publication in English in 1652 in London caused great controversy and polemics in England.

Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher was a member of the Nazi Party, the Gauleiter of Franconia and a member of the Reichstag, the national legislature. He was the founder and publisher of the virulently antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer, which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda machine. The publishing firm was financially very successful and made Streicher a multi-millionaire.

Jacques Joseph

Jacques Joseph

Jacques Joseph was a German doctor. "Nose Joseph" (Nasenjoseph) as he was known, is considered a pioneer of rhinoplasty.

Kabbalah

Kabbalah

Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought in Jewish mysticism. A traditional Kabbalist is called a Mekubbal. The definition of Kabbalah varies according to the tradition and aims of those following it, from its origin in medieval Judaism to its later adaptations in Western esotericism. Jewish Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between the unchanging, eternal God—the mysterious Ein Sof —and the mortal, finite universe. It forms the foundation of mystical religious interpretations within Judaism.

Hebrew language

Hebrew language

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, the Jews and Samaritans. It was largely preserved throughout history as the main liturgical language of Judaism and Samaritanism. Hebrew is the only Canaanite language still spoken today, and serves as the only truly successful example of a dead language that has been revived. It is also one of only two Northwest Semitic languages still in use, with the other being Aramaic.

Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice

Fania Borach, known professionally as Fanny Brice or Fannie Brice, was an American comedienne, illustrated song model, singer, and theater and film actress who made many stage, radio, and film appearances. She is known as the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series The Baby Snooks Show.

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker was an American poet, writer, critic, and satirist based in New York; she was known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand is an American singer and actress. With a career spanning over six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment, and is among the few performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT).

In Western non-Jewish literature and cinema

In The American Scene (1905), Henry James alluded to the stereotype in a description of the Jewish slums in New York City's Lower East Side by comparing Jews to a "sallow aquarium [with] innumerable fish, of over-developed proboscis".[33] The Jewish nose stereotype was a common motif in the work of Thomas Mann, who described it as "too flat, fleshy, down-pressed". In his 1909 novel Royal Highness, for example, Mann invents a Jewish doctor, Sammet, whose nose is described as giving away his origins, being "too broad at the bottom".[34] In The Great Gatsby (1925), F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrayal of the gangster Meyer Wolfsheim (also Wolfshiem) focused on his "expressive nose", a reference Fitzgerald later denied was antisemitic, despite privately expressing "bias toward Jews and ethnic others … into the 1930s".[35] In The Sun Also Rises (1926), Ernest Hemingway's character Robert Cohn breaks his nose while boxing at Princeton University, an incident which "certainly improve[s] his nose." The alteration is symbolic of the perceived sacrifices required to fit in with a predominantly Anglo-Saxon peer group at a university with a strongly antisemitic atmosphere.[36]

In Paul Thomas Anderson's 2021 film Licorice Pizza, the prominent Jewish nose of leading role Alana Kane, played by Alana Haim, gets featured in dialogue by a casting director (Harriet Sansom Harris), who also emphasizes her sexiness and asks if she would play topless roles. In another scene, producer Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper) brags about Barbra Streisand being his girlfriend and subsequently demonstrates an interest in Alana - as do most other males in that film, most prominently leading role Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman). This has been commented as the film capturing "the moment when pop culture finally started to see Jewish women as beautiful".[37]

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Henry James

Henry James

Henry James was an American-British author. He is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. He was the son of Henry James Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.

Lower East Side

Lower East Side

The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a historic neighborhood in the southeastern part of Manhattan in New York City. It is located roughly between the Bowery and the East River from Canal to Houston streets.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is best known for his novels depicting the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age—a term he popularized. During his lifetime, he published four novels, four story collections, and 164 short stories. Although he achieved temporary popular success and fortune in the 1920s, Fitzgerald received critical acclaim only after his death and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.

Other (philosophy)

Other (philosophy)

In phenomenology, the terms the Other and the Constitutive Other identify the other human being, in their differences from the Self, as being a cumulative, constituting factor in the self-image of a person; as acknowledgement of being real; hence, the Other is dissimilar to and the opposite of the Self, of Us, and of the Same. The Constitutive Other is the relation between the personality and the person (body) of a human being; the relation of essential and superficial characteristics of personal identity that corresponds to the relationship between opposite, but correlative, characteristics of the Self, because the difference is inner-difference, within the Self.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Princeton University

Princeton University

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. It is one of the highest-ranked universities in the world. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, and then to the current site nine years later. It officially became a university in 1896 and was subsequently renamed Princeton University.

Alana Haim

Alana Haim

Alana Mychal Haim is an American musician and actress. She is best known as a member of the pop rock band Haim, along with her two older sisters Este and Danielle, where she performs piano, guitar and vocals. In 2020, the band received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year nomination for their third album, Women in Music Pt. III.

Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson, also known by his initials PTA, is an American filmmaker. He made his feature-film debut with Hard Eight (1996). He found critical and commercial success with Boogie Nights (1997) and received further accolades with Magnolia (1999) and Punch-Drunk Love (2002), a romantic comedy-drama film.

Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza is a 2021 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in their film debuts, alongside an ensemble supporting cast including Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie. Set in 1973, the film follows the development of a young couple's relationship.

Harriet Sansom Harris

Harriet Sansom Harris

Harriet Sansom Harris is an American actress known for her theater performances and for her portrayals of Bebe Glazer on Frasier and Felicia Tilman on Desperate Housewives.

Jon Peters

Jon Peters

John Peters is an American film producer and former hairdresser.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Charles Cooper is an American actor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of various accolades, including a British Academy Film Award and two Grammy Awards, in addition to nominations for nine Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award. Cooper appeared on the Forbes Celebrity 100 three times and on Time's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015. His films have grossed $11 billion worldwide and he has placed four times in annual rankings of the world's highest-paid actors.

In Jewish literature and cinema

Heinrich Heine in his 'The Baths of Lucca' creates a satiric portrait of the Jewish upstart figure Gumpel trying, under false aristocratic pretenses, to ingratiate his way into high society, while waiting for God to restore the Jews to their ancestral homeland. The problem is his nose, which is so long it almost pokes out the narrator's eyes when they meet. God must eventually make good on his promise of a return to Israel, the narrator reflects:

a promise which has been leading them by the nose for two thousand years. Is this being led by the nose the reason, perhaps, why their noses have grown so long? Or are these long noses a kind of uniform, by which the divine old king Jehovah recognizes his palace guards even when they have deserted?[38][39]

In American Jewish literature and cinema, the Jewish nose has been a defining characteristic – for better or for worse – of the American Jewish identity. "The nose is […] a physical symbol of otherness, definitely for Jews, as Philip Roth" and other artists note, writes literary critic Roy Goldblatt.[9] Big noses for Jews, small noses for non-Jews, and the frequent appearance of rhinoplasty "as an instrument of (attempted) Americanization" all appear in Jewish literature as showing "the special significance attached to the nose as a factor marking the otherness of Jews – historically, in print, on stage, and on the screen," writes Goldblatt.

Goldblatt cites numerous examples of Jewish writers discussing the Jewish nose. "Goyim" (Non-Jews), writes Philip Roth in Portnoy's Complaint, "are the people for whom Nat 'King' Cole sings every Christmastime, 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose' […] 'No, no, theirs are the noses whereof he speaks. Not his flat black one or my long bumpy one, but those tiny bridgeless wonders whose nostrils point northward automatically at birth."[9]

Joshua Louis Moss cites Woody Allen's movie Sleeper as another example of the Jewish nose as an element of the American Jewish identity.[10] "The historical and ethnoreligious connections are made palpable in the film's main structuring comedy motif, one of the central tropes of twentieth-century anti-Semitism: the contested landscape of the Jewish nose […] Nose jokes recur throughout the film in both dialogue and sight gags." For example, in one scene two robots with outlandishly large noses speak with heavy Yiddish accents. In another scene, Allen assassinates the dictator in the movie by throwing the tyrant's distinctly non-Jewish-looking nose under a steamroller.

While large noses are a sign of Jewishness, Jewish authors take small noses as a sign of the Gentile. "Neither Sarah's way of speaking nor her manner was that of a daughter of Israel. Suddenly they remembered she didn't look Jewish, that she had a snub nose, high cheekbones, teeth that were strangely white […] unlike those found among the Jews," writes Isaac Bashevis Singer in his novel The Slave.[40] "'Don't you know what that girl is who is asleep beside you? Just look at that nose.' 'What nose?' 'That's the point – it's hardly even there […] Schmuck, this is the real McCoy. A Shikse! (non-Jewish woman)'" writes Philip Roth in Portnoy's Complaint.[41] "We started out with short beards and straight noses – you can look at the wall paintings – and who knows? With a slightly different genetic break in our wanderings and couplings, we might all be as blond and gorgeous today as Danish Schoolchildren," writes Joseph Heller in God Knows.[42]

Bernice Schrank notes that Jewish attitudes toward the Jewish nose has changed from negative in the 1950s to positive today. "The change from unacceptability to acceptability is based on an increasingly successful challenge to the American myth of melting pot sameness by the politics of ethnic difference."[11]

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Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine

Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German poet, writer and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose are distinguished by their satirical wit and irony. He is considered a member of the Young Germany movement. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities—which, however, only added to his fame. He spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

Goy

Goy

In modern Hebrew and Yiddish goy is a term for a gentile, a non-Jew. Through Yiddish, the word has been adopted into English also to mean gentile, sometimes with a pejorative sense.

Philip Roth

Philip Roth

Philip Milton Roth was an American novelist and short story writer.

Portnoy's Complaint

Portnoy's Complaint

Portnoy's Complaint is a 1969 American novel by Philip Roth. Its success turned Roth into a major celebrity, sparking a storm of controversy over its explicit and candid treatment of sexuality, including detailed depictions of masturbation using various props including a piece of liver. The novel tells the humorous monologue of "a lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor," who confesses to his psychoanalyst in "intimate, shameful detail, and coarse, abusive language." Many of its characteristics went on to become Roth trademarks.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen

Heywood "Woody" Allen is an American film director, writer, actor, and comedian whose career spans more than six decades and multiple Academy Award-winning films. He began his career writing material for television in the 1950s, mainly Your Show of Shows (1950–1954) working alongside Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart, and Neil Simon. He also published several books featuring short stories and wrote humor pieces for The New Yorker. In the early 1960s, he performed as a stand-up comedian in Greenwich Village alongside Lenny Bruce, Elaine May, Mike Nichols, and Joan Rivers. There he developed a monologue style and the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish. He released three comedy albums during the mid to late 1960s, earning a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album nomination for his 1964 comedy album entitled simply Woody Allen. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen fourth on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, while a UK survey ranked Allen the third-greatest comedian.

Sleeper (1973 film)

Sleeper (1973 film)

Sleeper is a 1973 American science fiction comedy film parodying a dystopic future of the United States in 2173, directed by Woody Allen and written by Allen and Marshall Brickman. The plot involves the misadventures of the owner of a health food store who is cryogenically frozen in 1973 and defrosted 200 years later in an ineptly led police state. Contemporary politics and pop culture are satirized throughout the film, which includes tributes to the classic comedy of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Charlie Chaplin. Many elements of notable works of science fiction are also paid tribute to, or parodied.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Polish-born American Jewish writer who wrote and published first in Yiddish and later translated himself into English with the help of editors and collaborators. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. A leading figure in the Yiddish literary movement, he was awarded two U.S. National Book Awards, one in Children's Literature for his memoir A Day Of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw (1970) and one in Fiction for his collection A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories (1974).

Schmuck (pejorative)

Schmuck (pejorative)

Schmuck, or shmuck, is a pejorative term meaning one who is stupid or foolish, or an obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person. The word came into the English language from Yiddish, where it has similar pejorative meanings, but where its literal meaning is a vulgar term for a penis.

The real McCoy

The real McCoy

"The real McCoy" is an idiom and metaphor used in much of the English-speaking world to mean "the real thing" or "the genuine article", e.g. "he's the real McCoy". The phrase has been the subject of numerous false etymologies.

Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller was an American author of novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays. His best-known work is the 1961 novel Catch-22, a satire on war and bureaucracy, whose title has become a synonym for an absurd or contradictory choice.

Source: "Jewish nose", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_nose.

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References
  1. ^ Sander Gilman, Love+marriage: And Other Essays on Representing Difference, Stanford University Press, 1998. p. 180.
  2. ^ Schrenk, Bernice (2007), "'Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Race': Jewish Stereotypes, Media Images, Cultural Hybridity", Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 25 (4): 18, doi:10.1353/sho.2007.0121, S2CID 36457835.
  3. ^ Patai, Raphael (1989), The Myth of the Jewish Race, Wayne University Press, p. 208, ISBN 978-0-8143-1948-2.
  4. ^ a b c Preminger, Beth (2001), "The "Jewish Nose" and Plastic Surgery: Origins and Implications", Journal of the American Medical Association, 286 (17): 2161, doi:10.1001/jama.286.17.2161-JMS1107-5-1.
  5. ^ a b c d Jacobs, Joseph; Fishberg, Maurice (1906), "Nose", Jewish Encyclopedia.
  6. ^ Helmreich, William B (1982), The Things They Say Behind Your Back: Stereotypes and the Myths Behind Them, Transaction Publishers, pp. 36–37, ISBN 978-1-4128-3933-4.
  7. ^ Holden, Harold Miller (1950), Noses, World Publishing Company, p. 69, hdl:2027/uc1.b3426003, A considerable study has been made on the 'Jewish' nose. It has been found that this nose is far less prevalent among Jews than popularly supposed. Furthermore, it is most prevalent among Jews when it is also prevalent among the general population, as among Mediterranean or Bavarian people.
  8. ^ Silbiger, Steve (2000), The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People, Longstreet Press, p. 13, ISBN 978-1-56352-566-7, Sociologists have shown that the 'Jewish nose' is no more common to Jews than to Mediterranean people.
  9. ^ a b c Goildblatt, Roy (2003). "As Plain as the Nose on Your Face: The Nose as the Organ of Othering". Amerikastudien / American Studies. 48 (4): 563–576. JSTOR 41157893.
  10. ^ a b Joshua Louis Moss (2014), "'Woody the Gentile': Christian-Jewish Interplay in Allen's Films" in Vincent Brook and Marat Grinberg (eds), Woody on Rye: Jewishness in the films and plays of Woody Allen. Brandeis University Press, pp. 100–122, ISBN 978-1-61168-479-7.
  11. ^ a b Schrank, Bernice (Summer 2007). ""Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Race": Jewish Stereotypes, Media Images, CulturalHybridity". Shofar. 25 (4): 18–42. doi:10.1353/sho.2007.0121. JSTOR 42944413. S2CID 36457835.
  12. ^ a b About Faces: Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain, p. 49
  13. ^ Notes and Queries, 9th series, vol. X, July–December 1902, Oxford University Press, p. 150.
  14. ^ Gilman, Sander (2013) [1991]. "The Jewish Nose". The Jew's Body. Routledge. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-136-03878-5.
  15. ^ Silbiger, Steve (2000), The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People, Taylor Trade Publications, p. 13, ISBN 978-1-56352-566-7.
  16. ^ Chamberlain, Houston Stewart (1910). "The Entrance of the Jews into the History of the West". The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. London: John Lane, the Bodley Head. p. 394. Archived from the original on 2007-12-23.
  17. ^ a b P. Roth, ‘Distinguishing Jewishness I n Antiquity,’ in Jean-Jacques Aubert, Zsuzsanna Várhelyi(eds.), A Tall Order. Writing the Social History of the Ancient World: Essays in honor of William V. Harris, Walter de Gruyter, 2005, pp. 37–58, p. 54.
  18. ^ a b Magen Broshi, Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2001, pp. 53–54.
  19. ^ Fine, Steven (2013). "How Do You Know a Jew When You See One?". In Greenspoon, Leonard J. (ed.). Fashioning Jews: Clothing, Culture, and Commerce. Purdue University Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 1557536570.
  20. ^ Bilde, Per (2002). Flavius Josephus, Between Jerusalem and Rome: His Life, His Works, and Their Importance. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. p. 60. ISBN 1850750602.
  21. ^ a b Lipton, Sara (14 November 2014). "The Invention of the Jewish Nose". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  22. ^ Lee, Christina H. (2015), The anxiety of sameness in early modern Spain, Manchester University Press, pp. 134–135ff, ISBN 978-1-78499-120-3.
  23. ^ Pinedo, Jorge Salavert, 'To a man with a big nose': a new translation (PDF).
  24. ^ Simon Schama, Belonging: The Story of the Jews, 1492-1900, The Bodley Head 2017 p.209.
  25. ^ Kroha, Lucienne (2014). The Drama of the Assimilated Jew: Giorgio Bassani's Romanzo di Ferrara. University of Toronto Press. p. 284. ISBN 978-1-4426-4616-2.
  26. ^ Streicher, Julius (c. 1939). "How to Tell a Jew". research.calvin.edu. From Der Giftpilz, an anti-Semitic children's book published by Julius Streicher, the publisher of Der Stürmer. Translated by Randall Bytwerk, 1999, for the Calvin Archive of Nazi Propaganda. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  27. ^ a b Zeveloff, Naomi. "How the All-American Nose Job Got a Makeover". The Forward. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  28. ^ Biska, Rabbi Aharon Leib (1888). Secrets of the Face. Warsaw, Poland. p. 18.
  29. ^ Erens, Patricia (1984). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
  30. ^ Miller, Nina (1999). Making Love Modern. Oxford University Press. pp. 122. ISBN 978-0-19-511604-5.
  31. ^ Erens, Patricia (1984). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
  32. ^ "Barbra Streisand Archives | Her Profile, Nose". barbra-archives.com. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
  33. ^ Haralson, Eric L; Johnson, Kendall (2009), Critical Companion to Henry James: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Infobase Publishing, p. 434, ISBN 978-1-4381-1727-0.
  34. ^ 'Seine Nase, zu flach auf den Schnurrbart abfallend, deutete auf seine Herkunft hin'. Cited Yahye Elsaghe ‘German Film Adaptations of Jewish Characters in Thomass Mann,’ in Christiane Schönfeld, Hermann Rasche, Processes of Transposition: German Literature and Film, Rodopi, 2007 pp. 133ff.
  35. ^ Mangum, Bryant (2013), F.Scott Fitzgerald in Context, Cambridge University Press, p. 231, ISBN 978-1-107-00919-6.
  36. ^ Marcus, Lisa (2008). "May Jews Go To College?". In Phyllis Lassner; Lara Trubowitz (eds.). Antisemitism and Philosemitism in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. Rosemont Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 9780874130294.
  37. ^ Silver, Stephen. "'Licorice Pizza' captures the moment when pop culture finally started to see Jewish women as beautiful". Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  38. ^ "Sind vielleicht ihre Nasen eben durch dieses lange an der Nase Herumgeführtwerden so lang geworden? Oder sind diese langen Nasen eine Art Uniform, woran der Gottkönig Jehova seine alten Leibgardisten erkennt, selbst wenn sie desertiert sind?" – Christa Stöcker (ed.), Reisebilder II. 1828–1831, chapter 2: Die Bäder von Lukka. Berlin: Akademie, 1986, p. 77.
  39. ^ S.S. Prawer, Heine’s Jewish Comedy, Clarendon Press, Oxford (1983) 1985, pp. 132–133.
  40. ^ Singer, Isaac Bashevis (1988). The Slave. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 234. ISBN 978-0-374-50680-3.
  41. ^ Roth, Philip. Portnoy's Complaint. p. 127.
  42. ^ Heller, Joseph (1997). God Knows. Simon and Schuster. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-374-53254-3.
Further reading
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