A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity and Memory

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 191 pages
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Arguing that Jewish North American writing is too commonly discussed as part of the mainstream, neglecting the Jewish aspects of the works, Ravvin places the writing of Bellow, Richler, Cohen, West, Mandel, Roth, and Rosenfarb within the Jewish context that the works demand. Ravvin depicts a Jewish cultural landscape within which postwar writers contend with community and identity, continuity and loss, and highlights the way this particular landscape is entangled with broader literary and cultural traditions. He considers Bellow and West alongside apocalyptic narratives, discusses Cohen in relation to the counterculture, examines Mandel's postmodern view of history, and looks at autobiography and ethics in Roth and Rosenfarb. At once scholarly and poetic, A House of Words will appeal to the general reader of Canadian, American, and Jewish literature and history, as well as to specialists in these fields.
 

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Contents

This World and Others
3
Building a House of Words
9
Uncovering the Ethical
22
Mordecai Richlers Response
33
Facing Up to the Past
51
Rereading Anne Frank
64
Chava Rosenfarbs The Tree of Life
85
On Refusing to End
101
Saul Bellows AntiApocalyptic
124
Forethought
135
Notes
165
Bibliography
177
Index
189
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About the author (1997)

Editor Norman Ravvin is a writer of fiction, criticism and journalism His books include Not Quite Mainstream, Cafe's des Westens, and Hidden Canada (all with Red Deer Press), as well as Lola by Night, Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish, and A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity, and Memory. He has also edited the short story collection Great Stories of the Sea. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Canadian magazines and on the CBC.

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