Living on Writer's Block: Henry Roth and American Literature
Kellman, Steven G., Shofar
Three mysteries surround Henry Roth (1906-95), the Rip Van Winkle of American authors: 1) Why was Call It Sleep ignored in 1934 but acclaimed in 1964? 2) Why did Roth renounce literary life after Call It Sleep? 3) What compelled Roth, in his eighties and dying, to summon the fortitude to create the tetralogy Mercy of a Rude Stream? The Depression was an inauspicious time for an immigrant novice's novel about life among the lowly, whereas it found a receptive public in 1964, when ethnicity was fashionable and American Jews were eager to affirm a tradition. Roth's 60-year writer's block can be explained by the false lure of Marxism as well as Roth's alienation from his Jewish roots. The …
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Publication information: Article title: Living on Writer's Block: Henry Roth and American Literature. Contributors: Kellman, Steven G. - Author. Journal title: Shofar. Volume: 26. Issue: 3 Publication date: Spring 2008. Page number: 21+. © Not available. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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