Philip Roth Studies

A peer-reviewed journal devoted to the literary exploration of this prolific contemporary novelist. It publishes writing pertaining entirely or in part to Philip Roth, his fiction, and his literary and cultural significance.

Articles from Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring

Critical Unmoorings: An Introduction to Philip Roth Studies
When the Philip Roth Society was founded in 2002, I received many responses as its president regarding its organization and function, why it had not been formed earlier, why such a controversial author deserved this kind of attention, and why it was...
Dream or Nightmare? Roth, Morrison, and America
Ruby, it seemed to him, was an unnecessary failure. How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it [. . .] Suddenly Richard Misner knew he would stay. Not only because Anna wanted...
Gravity Fails: The Comic Jewish Shaping of Modern America
James D. Bloom. Gravity Fails: The Comic Jewish Shaping of Modern America. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. xvi + 192 pp. $62.95.One of the chief complaints lodged against the New Historicism of the 1980s was its inattentiveness to the text. New Historicism's...
"Oh Freud, Do I Know!": Philip Roth, Freud, and Narrative Therapy
In a 1974 essay, "In Response to Those Who Have Asked Me: 'How Did You Come to Write That Book, Anyway?,'" Philip Roth details the circuitous path that eventually led to the writing of his breakthrough novel Portnoy's Complaint (1969). The novel famously...
Philip Roth: Countertexts, Counterlives
Debra Shostak. Philip Roth: Countertexts, Counterlives. Columbia, SC: U of South Carolina P, 2004. ix + 332 pp. $39.95.For some years now, Roth critics have been aware of Debra Shostak as the author of a number of excellent journal articles on Roth's...
Philip Roth's "Defender of the Faith": A Modern Midrash
Mention Philip Roth and Judaism to most average readers, and you will hear much criticism of Roth's negative, defeatist attitude toward his own religion-the phrase "self-hating" will probably come up more than once-while relatively fewer readers will...
Philip Roth's Patrimony and Art Spiegelman's Maus: Jewish Sons Remembering Their Fathers
It's an old joke:A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he's been given a role in the school play."Wonderful. What part is it?"The boy says, "I play the Jewish husband."The mother scowls and says, "Go back and tell the teacher you want...
The Holocaust as Fiction: Derrida's Demeure and the Demjanjuk Trial in Philip Roth's Operation Shylock
Witnessing for the Witnessing of the WitnessIn Demeure: Fiction and Testimony, Paul Celan haunts Jacques Derrida's meditation on juridical testimony: "no one / bears witness for the / witness" (Celan 241). seeking to avoid the infinite recurrence suggested...
The Plot against America
Philip Roth. The Plot Against America. Boston: Houghton, 2004. 391 pp. $26.00In Philip Roth's most recent novel, The Plot Against America, Franklin Delano Roosevelt does not win the presidency in 1940, and America instead is under the rule of the casually...
Trials and Errors at the Turn of the Millennium: On the Human Stain and J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace
Veri juris. We no longer have any. If we did, we would not hold it as a rule of justice to follow the customs of the country. That is why, unable to find justice, we found might.-Pascal, Pensées"How can any person in general be guilty? We are all humans...
Up Society's Ass, Copper: Rereading Philip Roth
Mark Shechner. Up Society's Ass, Copper: Rereading Philip Roth. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 2004. xii + 255 pp. $50.00/$22.95.Mark Shechner's journey back through thirty years of his own reading of Philip Roth starts with a challenge and a question: He...
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