Although aggressive antisemitism was on the rise following World War I -- mainly as a direct result of political scapegoating and finger-pointing -- the physical appearance of the Jewish racial type is noted for its endurance through the ages. As Karl Kautsky notes in Are the Jews a Race?: 'This view is widely accepted to this day as an irrefutable and unquestionable fact, a fact which is so irrefutable and unquestionable that its advocate forgets to state what are the appallingly constant and immutable traits of the Jewish race. The race theorists usually hand over this scientific task to the cartoonists of the comic papers. These most dependable scholars have found the principal trait of Judaism in its nose.'
To qualify as 'Friulano', Stein would have had to hail from Friuli, an area in the north-easternmost region of Italy with a unique history and sense of identity. In actual fact -- as is the case in much of Hemingway's writing -- the truth is merged with the imagined: Stein was of German-Jewish descent, born to wealthy immigrants in Allegheny, Pennsylvania.