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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2007

E 379M • The Case of Roth, Roth, and Roth

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34790 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 308

Course Description

Jewish-American-European Fiction--
This course brings together two colossi of American Literature (ethnic or otherwise), Henry Roth (1906-1995) and Philip Roth (b. 1933)--arguably the two most important Jewish American fiction writers of the early and later 20th century--along with one of the most prolific modern European writers, novelist and journalist Joseph Roth. We will read Henry Roth's Call it Sleep (1934), along with one or two sections of the multi-part novel published sixty years later, Mercy in a Rude Stream (which can be seen, as one recent reviewer puts it, as the Talmudic commentary on the earlier novel's "Torah"). No minor author or commentator of secular scripture in his own right, Philip Roth's imposing oeuvre will be represented in the semester's second half by the following novels and essays--Goodbye, Columbus and Other Stories, The Counterlife, Operation Shylock, Patrimony, The Human Stain, The Plot Against America,"Looking at Kafka; Or, I Always Wanted You to Admire my Fasting", and "On the Air." Finally, we will tackle two novels by Joseph Roth recreating, respectively, the shtetl of the Eastern Jews (Hiob or Job, 1930) and the vanished world of the Habsburg monarchy (Radetzkymarsch or The Radetzky March, 1932), along with selected feuilltons (journalistic letters).

Grading Policy

Writing assignments (Two essays, 5 pp and 10 pp respectively, the first to be revised; weekly 1-page postings to electronic blackboard) 50%
Class participation 50%


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