New PDF release: Accidents of Influence: Writing As a Woman and a Jew in

By Norma Rosen

ISBN-10: 0791410919

ISBN-13: 9780791410912

ISBN-10: 0791410927

ISBN-13: 9780791410929

For Norma Rosen, the Holocaust is the critical occasion of the 20 th century. during this publication, she examines the connection of post-Holocaust writers to their paintings when it comes to topic, language, imagery, and dealing with as much as the duty of writing in a post-Holocaust period. She considers the paintings of such significant affects on our time as T. S. Eliot, Simone Weil, Anne Frank, E. L. Doctorow, Norman Mailer, Eugenio Montale, Philip Roth, and Saul Bellow. injuries of impression combines severe research with own reaction and autobiographical moments. It contains quotidian encounters in friendship, intercourse, society, paintings, politics, reaction to violence, and spiritual observance, which fight for ethical flooring during this post-Holocaust period.

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Somehow in those fifties stories about Jews debased by suffering—Susskind the schnorrer and thief in "The Last Mohican," the wife in "The Loan" who won't lend money to her husband's needy friend because her own losses frighten her too *The Stories of Bernard Malamud, Plume, 1984.  I disagreed so greatly with Malamud on this that apparently I had to forget about the existence of his tale.  In A New Life it is through Pauline Gilly that Levin can finally embark on the hard road toward becoming a mensch, when he takes on the impossible burdens of her broken marriage.

I get the feeling that Shakespeare had more compassion for Shylock than some Jewish writers for their characters.  Could this be a picture of Jews about to go to the gas chambers—these selfish, self­deluding pastry­eaters?  In the forests, he is forced to hide his Jewishness—but he discovers there that the one thing that gives him inner distinction, the thing he can cling to and that helps to sustain him and save his life, is what he calls the "sweet secret" of his Jewishness.  But if he clones his parents a hundred times in one novel, do we then have a picture of Jewish­German society under Hitler, or of hated parents cloned a hundred times?

If it seemed possible to inject a note of humor into her life—it doesn't—we might hear an echo of Woody Allen's quip about identity: Jewish, with an explanation.  .  Did she make the profound spiritual error of not granting separate identity to those who resembled her, transgressing fearfully in that case against her own idea of "attention," the respect due another human being?  Translated to theology, the way leads to the inquisitorial fires.  They were to her an "accursed people," she records among similar jottings in her 1942 New York notebook.

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Accidents of Influence: Writing As a Woman and a Jew in America by Norma Rosen

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