Philip Roth and the Jews [NOOK Book]

Overview

In a style richly accessible to the general reader, this book presents Roth's secular Jewishness, with its own mysteries and humor, as most representative of the American Jewish experience. Thirty years into his career as a writer, Philip Roth remains known to most readers as a self-hating Jew or a flawed would-be comic. Philip Roth and the Jews shows Roth the ironist, the master of absurdity, for whom twentieth-century America and modern Jewish history resonate with each other's signal accomplishments and ...
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Philip Roth and the Jews

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Overview

In a style richly accessible to the general reader, this book presents Roth's secular Jewishness, with its own mysteries and humor, as most representative of the American Jewish experience. Thirty years into his career as a writer, Philip Roth remains known to most readers as a self-hating Jew or a flawed would-be comic. Philip Roth and the Jews shows Roth the ironist, the master of absurdity, for whom twentieth-century America and modern Jewish history resonate with each other's signal accomplishments and anxieties. Roth's "egoism" is a persona, an abashed moralist discomfited by the world. Cooper shows that in the "Jewish" works Roth has taken the pulse of America and read the pressures of the world. Modernism, the universal tug for individual sovereignty and against tribal definition, is an issue everywhere. Roth's own odyssey of betrayal, loss, and return-the pattern of the Jewish writer in the last 200 years-is so shaped by his origins that Roth has carried his home and neighborhood into the corners of the earth and thus never left them.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Cooper scrupulously researches, locates, and considers some more obscure-but revealing-criticism of Roth's work. He also explores some of Roth's juvenilia and other lesser known stories and contextualizes Roth's work by painstakingly describing the political, social, and literary milieu surrounding each work. He speaks about Roth's biography and spends much time discussing Roth's political views as they have manifested themselves in his writing.— Daniel Walden, Penn State University
Library Journal
Cooper York Coll., CUNY has written a fascinating study of Philip Roth, placing him as the premier writer of the Jewish experience in America. All the "corruption and vulgarity and treachery of American life" and the attempt to live as a Jew and as a free, unsponsored person is present in Roth's fiction. Cooper discusses Roth's work from his early college writings to his latest, National Book Award-winning work, Sabbath's Theater LJ 7/95; see LJ's Best Books of 1995, p. 46-50. Cooper presents the critical reaction to Rothboth literary and Jewishas an integral part of Roth's biography and evolution as an artist. For Cooper, the eruption of the "bad" and the search for identity in Roth's art are the keys to his important and liberating voice. An insightful study, essential for literature collections.Gene Shaw, NYPL
Booknews
Cooper (English, York College, City U. of New York) presents a rereading of Roth, countering the impression he believes many readers have of him as a self-hating Jew or an offputting would- be comic. Presenting Roth instead as an ironist and master of absurdity, Cooper calls attention to the novelist's ability to reveal how flawed people experience themselves and elaborates on his development as both a writer and a Jew. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791499641
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 815 KB

Meet the Author

Alan Cooper is Professor of English at York College, City University of New York. He chaired the English Department for 20 years and now serves as the college’s faculty leader.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Ironic and the Irate 1
2 Starting Out 24
3 Biography versus the Biographical 51
4 Duty before Rage 72
5 The Alex Perplex 94
6 Absurdities: Post-Portnoy Seventies 125
7 The Most Offensive Piece Roth Ever Wrote 140
8 Watershed 158
9 Zuckerman Bound 179
10 Zuckerroth 210
11 Operation Shylock 252
12 Master Baiter: Sabbath's Theater 281
13 Irony Board 288
Notes 291
Selected Bibliography 303
Index 311
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