E 379M • Roth and Roth: Studies in Jewish American Literature (CANCELLED)
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
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. 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, "I Always Wanted You to Admire my Fasting; or, Looking at Kafka," and "On the Air."
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%