Breaking free from the Scottish shell: the life, times and Jewishness of C.P. Taylor.

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Abstract

This article considers the life and work of the Glaswegian Jewish playwright C.P. Taylor (1929 -1981). It offers both a personal perspective (from his son) and an attempt to place him in the context of the community he came from (the Gorbals). Taylor’s development as a playwright is considered, and the various strands of his work are discussed. The main focus of the piece however, is on the themes of anti-Semitism and Jewish identity in his plays. They are used to explore the question of whether it is possible for an individual to separate religion and culture in their understanding of ‘Jewishness’? It is based on letters, interviews, and an analysis of the plays themselves. The article has also been published as a chapter in Sue Vice (ed.) Representing the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell, 2003.) It was an invited contribution specifically commissioned for this particular volume. This is the first article that deals with the issue of Jewish identity in C. P. Taylor’s life and work. It forms part of an ongoing research project on the Jewish community in Glasgow in the inter-war period. Taylor is currently writing further articles on this subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-183
JournalImmigrants and Minorities
Volume21
Issue number1/2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002

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