Voltaire's Coffee: The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth. hosted by Dr. Robert Abzug, professor of History
Mon, September 10, 2012 • 7:00 PM • Little Green House (3010 Fruth Street)
The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth. hosted by Dr. Robert Abzug, professor of History
Monday, 10 September at 7pm, Little Green House (3010 Fruth Street)
The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff. At Lonoff's, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff's and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life. The first volume of the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency—and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.
Robert H. Abzug is Audre and Bernard Rapoport Regents Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Texas. He is the founding director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at UT. He received his BA magna cum laude from Harvard and PhD from University of California, Berkeley, and taught at Berkeley and UCLA before coming to Texas in 1978. In 1990-91, he held the Eric Voegelin Visiting Professorship at University of Munich. Abzug has been a Guggenheim and NEH Fellow and the recipient of other fellowships. At UT he has also served as chair of American Studies and director of Liberal Arts Honors. Abzug’s research has traversed fields but is centered on aspects of the evolution of moral consciousness in American life. He currently teaches courses on American Jewish literature and music, America and the Holocaust, religion and psychology in American culture, as well as graduate seminars on the history of psychotherapy and photography in modern American culture.