This Critical Companion provides an up-to-date, detailed biography of Chaim Potok, examining his life as a man, as a rabbi, and as an artist. A literary heritage chapter explores the influences on Potok's writings, both literary and spiritual. This section helps students of all backgrounds understand the basic tenets and the important distinctions within contemporary Judaism. This discussion also examines what it means to be a Jewish-American writer. Full literary analysis of Potok's eight novels is provided, each book with its own chapter. A specially selected bibliography of reviews, criticism, and biographical information completes this volume.
Sternlicht includes little-known facts about Forester's background, his days in Hollywood as a screenwriter, and the genesis of the models for the major characters in the Saga -- many of whom were friends and acquaintances of Forester's. Sternlicht discusses extensively the research and writing techniques Forester used in his depiction of naval warfare and specific campaigns and actions of the Napoleonic period with actual procedures, events, and outcomes.
In addition, Sternlicht offers readings and historical background to Forester's two other great historical novels, The African Queen and The General.
This book will be a useful tool for readers wishing to know more about Britain's great dramatic tradition and vital contemporary theater, for students pursuing in drama studies, and for libraries in need of an accessible reference work on this perennially interesting subject.
Sanford Sternlicht reveals the influences of modern history and psychology on British drama; the all-important influence of Irish dramatists like Wilde, Shaw, O'Casey, and Beckett; the significance of the Independent Theatre of J. T. Grein and the early Royal Court Theatre; the gay community's contribution to the British theater; the powerful, new feminist drama; and the British festival theater.
Sanford Sternlicht teaches dramatic literature and theory in the Department of English at Syracuse University. He is the author of A Reader's Guide to Modern Irish Drama and A Reader's Guide to Modern American Drama.
He explores how this good-natured veterinarian came into existence and how he developed over the course of the series of books. How and why Herriot made the transition to television is examined as well as the effect the shows had on audiences. This is the story of the "creating" of James Herriot, how he captured the imagination of popular culture. This simple man, with his profound love for all creatures in his peaceable kingdom, has earned for himself a secure and enduring place in the hearts and minds of readers and viewers alike.
Most significantly, Sternlicht discusses the important plays of all the playwrights included and the major themes of modern Irish drama: the struggle for independence, the cruelty of poverty, the pains of emigration and exile, the decline of the Anglo-Irish ascendency, the power of religion, the longing for land, and the familial and gender conflicts of a people in post-colonial transition.
The Jewish Graphic Novel is a lively, interdisciplinary collection of essays that addresses critically acclaimed works in this subgenre of Jewish literary and artistic culture. Featuring insightful discussions of notable figures in the industry�such as Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, and Joann Sfar�the essays focus on the how graphic novels are increasingly being used in Holocaust memoir and fiction, and to portray Jewish identity in America and abroad
Featuring more than 85 illustrations, this collection is a compelling representation of a major postmodern ethnic and artistic achievement.
As the German tanks destroy the Warsaw Ghetto, one of the few remaining fighters, Yosl Rakover, writes out his last words to God, seals the text in a glass bottle, and thrusts it into the rubble before preparing to die. The text surfaces in Europe in the 1950s, is passed from hand to hand, is broadcast on Radio Berlin -- where it is acclaimed by Thomas Mann as a religious masterpiece -- is anthologized and translated into many languages.
But what is hailed as the most important testament of the Holocaust is in fact a short story, written in 1946 for a Yiddish newspaper by a remarkable young Jew, Zvi Kolitz, in Buenos Aires, where he had gone to raise money for the Jewish underground in the struggle to establish the State of Israel. The Borgesian story of what happened to the text and to Kolitz in the fifty years since, and the detective work of German journalist Paul Badde that resulted in their eventual rejoining, form the second part of this fascinating book. And in an afterword, the great French philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas's meditation on the text is answered in a commentary by Leon Wieseltier.
Already an acclaimed bestseller in Europe, Yosl Rakover Talks to God restores a blazing artifact of twentieth-century writing to its true setting.
Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used parables from everyday life to effectively convey his message and meaning. Life in first-century Palestine was very different from our world today, and many traditional interpretations of Jesus’ stories ignore this disparity and have often allowed anti-Semitism and misogyny to color their perspectives.
In this wise, entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely reinterpretation of Jesus’ narratives. In Short Stories by Jesus, she analyzes these “problems with parables,” taking readers back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables’ connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for the contemporary reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us—and when read rightly, still challenge and provoke us two thousand years later.
A classic portrait of immigrant life in the early decades of the twentieth century, A Walker in the City is a tour of tenements, subways, and synagogues—but also a universal story of the desires and fears we experience as we try to leave our small, familiar neighborhoods for something new.
With vivid imagery and sensual detail—the smell of half-sour pickles, the dry rattle of newspapers, the women in their shapeless flowered housedresses—Alfred Kazin recounts his boyhood walks through this working-class community, and his eventual foray across the river to “the city,” the mysterious, compelling Manhattan, where treasures like the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum beckoned. Eventually, he would travel even farther, building a life around books and language and literature and exploring all that the world had to offer.
“The whole texture, color, and sound of life in this tenement realm . . . is revealed as tapestried, as dazzling, as full of lush and varied richness as an Arabian bazaar.” —The New York Times
When New York-based writer Sam Apple hears about this one-of-a-kind eccentric, he flies overseas and signs on as a shepherd’s apprentice. For thoroughly urban, slightly neurotic Sam, stumbling along in borrowed boots and burdened with a lot more baggage than his backpack, the task is far from a walk in Central Park. Demonstrating no immediate natural talent for shepherding, he tries to earn the respect of Breuer’s sheep, while keeping a safe distance from the shepherd’s fierce herding dogs.
As this strange and hilarious adventure unfolds, the unlikely duo of Sam and Hans meander through a paradise of woods and high meadows toward awkward encounters with Austrians of many stripes. Apple is determined to find out if there are really as many anti-Semites in Austria as he fears and to understand how Hans, who grew up fighting the lingering Nazism in Vienna, became a wandering shepherd. What Apple discovers turns out to be far more fascinating than he had imagined.
With this odd and wonderful book, Sam Apple joins the august tradition of Tony Horwitz and Bill Bryson. Schlepping Through the Alps is as funny as it is moving.
From the Hardcover edition.
CliffsNotes on The Chosen reveals the condition of American Jews living in two cultures, one secular and one religious. In his classic novel, author Chaim Potok is describing not only the lives of the characters but his own life, as well.
With this study guide, you’ll be able to walk a mile in the shoes of a Jewish American of the 1940s. You'll also gain insight into the life of Potok and historical influences on this novel. Other features that help you study includeCharacter analyses of major playersA character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the charactersCritical essaysReview questions and suggested writing topicsDiscussion of the firm version of the novel and how it compares to the original work
Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
In Leon Uris: Life of a Best Seller, Ira Nadel traces Uris from his disruptive youth to his life-changing experiences as a marine in World War II. These experiences, coupled with Uris's embrace of his Judaism and desire to write, led to his unprecedented success and the lavish excesses of a career as a best-selling author. Nadel reveals that Uris lived the adventures he described, including his war experiences in the Pacific (Battle Cry), life-threatening travels in Israel (Exodus), visit to Communist Poland (Mila 18), libel trial in Britain (QB VII), and dangerous sojourn in fractious Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic (Trinity). Nadel also demonstrates that Uris's talent for writing action-packed, yet thoroughly researched, novels meshed perfectly with the public's desire to revisit and understand the tumultuous events of recent history. This made him far more popular (and wealthy) than more literary authors, while paving the way for writers such as Irving Wallace and Tom Clancy.
The editors—Krupnick’s wife, Jean K. Carney, and literary critic Mark Shechner—have also included earlier essays and introductions that link Krupnick’s work with the “deep places” of his own imagination.
CliffsNotes on Diary of Anne Frank takes you into the handwritten accounts of life in hiding from Nazis in World War II.
Following the feelings of a 13-year-old Jewish girl who recorded her thoughts, impressions, dreams, and cherished hopes during the two years before she and her family were discovered, this study companion covers the backgrounds and fates of the real people within Anne's diary. Other features that help you figure out this important work includeHistorical background centering around World War IICritical commentaries covering each year Anne Frank spent in hidingSuggested essay topics to inspire discussionSelected bibliography for further research
Classic literature or modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
The Apocalyptic Imagination by John Collins is one of the most widely praised studies of Jewish apocalyptic literature ever written. And this second edition of Collins's study represents a complete updating and rewriting of the original work. Especially noteworthy is the chapter on the Dead Sea Scrolls, which now takes into account all of the recently published texts. Other chapters discuss apocalypse as a literary genre, explore the phenomenon and function of apocalypticism in the ancient world, study a wide range of individual apocalyptic texts, and examine the apocalyptic character of early Christianity.
Why are words so important to so many Jews? Novelist Amos Oz and historian Fania Oz-Salzberger roam the gamut of Jewish history to explain the integral relationship of Jews and words. Through a blend of storytelling and scholarship, conversation and argument, father and daughter tell the tales behind Judaism’s most enduring names, adages, disputes, texts, and quips. These words, they argue, compose the chain connecting Abraham with the Jews of every subsequent generation.
Framing the discussion within such topics as continuity, women, timelessness, and individualism, Oz and Oz-Salzberger deftly engage Jewish personalities across the ages, from the unnamed, possibly female author of the Song of Songs through obscure Talmudists to contemporary writers. They suggest that Jewish continuity, even Jewish uniqueness, depends not on central places, monuments, heroic personalities, or rituals but rather on written words and an ongoing debate between the generations. Full of learning, lyricism, and humor, Jews and Words offers an extraordinary tour of the words at the heart of Jewish culture and extends a hand to the reader, any reader, to join the conversation.
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
In her introduction, Miriyam Glazer vividly reconstructs the diversities, tensions, and complexity of current Israeli literature, and the book reflects the multiculturality of modern-day Israel by including stories and poems originally written in Arabic, Russian, Hebrew, and English. Brief biographical and critical introductions are provided for each writer, and the book features specially commissioned and new translations of twenty stories and seventy-five poems, many available here for the first time in English.
In CliffsNotes on Wiesel's Night, you follow the humanistic first-person account of a teenage boy's incarceration by the Nazi Secret Service in World War II; his experiences in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald death camps; and his struggle to find meaning among the horror.
Covering little more than a year of the young narrator's life, this study guide shares a story about endurance, loyalty, and faith — all nurtured by the strength of love. Other features that help you figure out this important work includeLife and background of the author, Dr. Elie WieselA list of charactersA historical timeline of Nazi GermanyA review section that tests your knowledge and suggests essay topicsA selected bibliography that leads you to more great resources
Classic literature or modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
With her discussion rooted in rabbinic sources and commentary, Weisberg explores kinship structure and descent, the relationship between a family unit created through levirate marriage and the extended family, and the roles of individuals within the family. She also considers the position of women, asking whether it is through marriage or the bearing of children that a woman becomes part of her husband's family, and to what degree a married woman remains part of her natal family. She argues that rabbinic responses to levirate suggest that a family is an evolving entity, one that can preserve itself through realignment and redefinition.
Wisse is not content merely to evaluate the great books of Jewish literature; she also links the works together to present a new kind of Jewish history, as it has been told through the literature of the past hundred years. She tells the story of a multilingual, multinational people, one that has experienced an often turbulent relationship with Hebrew (the liturgical and scriptural language) and Yiddish (the commonplace vernacular tongue), as well as with the numerous languages spoken by Jews around the world. Wisse insists that language informs the essential meaning of a Jewish work, creating and ratifying political and religious alliances, historical and cultural circumstance, and methods of interpretation.
Drawing from a broad sweep of twentieth-century Jewish fiction, Wisse reintroduces us to the deeper side of much-beloved books that remain touchstones of Jewish identity. Through her eyes we reencounter old friends, including:
Tevye the Dairyman from Sholem Aleichem's landmark Yiddish stories, the character on whom Fiddler on the Roof is based
Joseph K. of Kafka's The Trial, who "without having done anything wrong" was famously "arrested one fine morning"
Anne Frank, whose poignant diary has shaped the way we think about the Holocaust
Nathan Zuckerman, the enigmatic narrator of numerous Philip Roth novels
Destined to be a classic in its own right, one that reshapes the way we think about some of the classic works of the modern age, The Modern Jewish Canon is a book for every Jewish reader and for every reader of great fiction.
E.L. Doctorow questions the very notion of the Jewish American writer, insisting that all great writing is secular and universal. Allegra Goodman embraces the categorization, arguing that it immediately binds her to her readers. Dara Horn, among the youngest of these writers, describes the tendency of Jewish writers to focus on anti-Semitism and advocates a more creative and positive way of telling the Jewish story. Thane Rosenbaum explains that as a child of Holocaust survivors, he was driven to write in an attempt to reimagine the tragic endings in Jewish history.
Here are the stories of how these writers became who they are: Saul Bellow on his adolescence in Chicago, Grace Paley on her early love of Romantic poetry, Chaim Potok on being transformed by the work of Evelyn Waugh. Here, too, are Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Erica Jong, Jonathon Rosen, Tova Mirvis, Pearl Abraham, Alan Lelchuk, Rebecca Goldstein, Nessa Rapoport, and many more.
Spanning three generations of Jewish writing in America, these essays — by turns nostalgic, comic, moving, and deeply provocative- constitute an invaluable investigation into the thinking and the work of some of America’s most important writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Sternlicht discusses the role of women, the Yiddish Theater, secular values, the struggle between generations, street crime, politics, labor unions, and the importance of newspapers and periodicals. He documents the decline of Yiddish culture as these immigrants blended into what they called "The Golden Land."
Olbracht's novella is both a great love story and a marvellous portrait of a world that modernity threatened and Hitler destroyed.
Modern German Jewish identity developed during the struggle for emancipation, debates about religious and cultural renewal, and battles against anti-Semitism. A key component of this identity was historical memory, which Jewish scholars had begun to infuse with theological perspectives beginning in the 1850s. After German reunification in the early 1870s, Jewish intellectuals reevaluated their enthusiastic embrace of liberalism and secularism. Without abandoning the ideal of tolerance, they asserted a right to cultural religious difference for themselves--an ideal they held to even more tightly in the face of growing anti-Semitism. This newly re-theologized Jewish history, Roemer argues, helped German Jews fend off anti-Semitic attacks by strengthening their own sense of their culture and tradition.
While not neglecting the question of direct borrowings, author Paul Rovang applies a theory of intertextuality to probe how the poet responded to the chivalric romance themes, conventions, materials, and structures which he encountered in the Morte Darthur. Both works are treated not as monoliths, but as links in a network of texts and other cultural phenomena relating to chivalry. In this way, a fuller sense is given not only of how vitally connected the two works are, but of how Spenser "refashioned" the transmitted ideals and symbols of Arthurian knighthood for his own age.
Marcel Proust came into his own as a novelist comparatively late in life, yet only Shakespeare, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky were his equals when it came to creating characters as memorably human. As biographer Benjamin Taylor suggests, Proust was a literary lightweight before writing his multivolume masterwork In Search of Lost Time, but following a series of momentous historical and personal events, he became—against all expectations—one of the greatest writers of his, and indeed any, era.
This insightful, beautifully written biography examines Proust’s artistic struggles—the “search” of the subtitle—and stunning metamorphosis in the context of his times. Taylor provides an in-depth study of the author’s life while exploring how Proust’s personal correspondence and published works were greatly informed by his mother’s Judaism, his homosexuality, and such dramatic events as the Dreyfus Affair and, above all, World War I. As Taylor writes in his prologue, “Proust’s Search is the most encyclopedic of novels, encompassing the essentials of human nature. . . . His account, running from the early years of the Third Republic to the aftermath of World War I, becomes the inclusive story of all lives, a colossal mimesis. To read the entire Search is to find oneself transfigured and victorious at journey’s end, at home in time and in eternity too.”
Ilan Stavans has been described by The Washington Post as “Latin America’s liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast.” And the Forward calls him “a maverick intellectual whose canonical work has already produced a whole array of marvels that are redefining Jewishness.” This new anthology contains fiction, memoirs, essays, and poetry from twenty-eight writers who span more than 150 years. Included are Emma Lazarus’s legendary poem “The New Colossus,” inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty; the hypnotizing prose of Greece-born, Switzerland-based Albert Cohen; Nobel—Prize winner Elias Canetti’s ruminations on Europe before World War II; Albert Memmi’s identity quest as an Arab Jew in France; Primo Levi’s testimony on the Holocaust; and A. B. Yehoshua’s epic stories set in Israel today.
When read together, these explorations offer an astonishingly incisive collective portrait of the “other Jews,” Sephardim who long for la España perdida, their lost ancestral home, even as they create a vibrant, multifaceted literary tradition in exile.
From the Hardcover edition.
This volume presents studies of individual words and verses within the Bible, as well as broader thematic discussions of biblical language and its long reception-history, down through medieval scribes and modern lexicographers. Also represented are Bar-Asher’s penetrating studies of Qumran texts and languages, which illuminate both the linguistic traditions reflected in these texts and the scribal culture from which they emerged. The third section contains studies of Mishnaic Hebrew. There are both sweeping surveys of the field and its accomplishments and challenges, and studies of specific phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical features.
Jay Geller depicts Freud as an ordinary Viennese Jew making extraordinary attempts to mitigate the trauma of everyday antisemitism. He situates Freud at the nexus of antisemitic, misogynistic, colonialist, and homophobic discourses, both scientific and popular. These held in place the double bind of post-Emancipation and pre-Shoah Viennese Jewish life: the demand for complete assimilation into the dominant culture, accompanied by the assumption that Jews were constitutionally incapable of eliminating their difference. Incarnate in the figure of the circumcised (male) Jew, this difference haunted the Central European cultural imagination
and helped create, maintain, and confirm Central European identities and hierarchies.
Exploring overlapping layers of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race in identity construction, theories of trauma, fetishism, and writing, Geller looks at Freud's representations of the Jewish body--especially circumcised penises and their displacements onto noses. He shows how Freud reinscribed the virile masculine norm and the at once hypervirile and effeminate Jewish other into the discourse of psychoanalysis.