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. 10, No. 2, Fall

Annual Bibliography of Philip Roth Criticism and Resources-2013
What follows is a bibliography of Philip Roth-related texts published during 2013, including primary works by and interviews with Roth, critical works (books, book chapters, and journal essays), and doctoral dissertations. All entries will reflect the...
Cosmopolitanism and Tragic Silence in Philip Roth's the Human Stain
The analysis that follows will contend that Philip Roth's The Human Stain (2000) employs narrative silence and lacunae as strategies of socio-political cosmopolitan critique. Building upon the recent work of Ross Posnock, who argues that a significant...
Editors' Note
To mark our first issue as executive co-editors of Philip Roth Studies we would like briefly to put on record three things: that we are deeply grateful to Derek Parker Royal, who founded the journal and has done more than anyone else over the past decade...
Fiction as Faith: Philip Roth's Testament in Exit Ghost1
Philip Roth's Exit Ghost (2007) provides a fitting coda to the saga of the novelist's famed alter-ego and memorable writer-protagonist Nathan Zuckerman, whose novelistic obsessions, cunning, manic discipline, and deeply cherished articles of faith are...
In History's Grip: Philip Roth's Newark Trilogy
Michael Kimmage. In History's Grip: Philip Roth's Newark Trilogy. (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture). Stanford: Stanford UP, 2012. xii + 198 pp. $50.00 cloth/ $50.00 e-book."The remembered absurdities of human history," declares Michael...
Kibitzers
Claudia Roth Pierpont. Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 353 pp. Cloth. $27.00.Did mere nano-seconds elapse between Philip Roth's throwing in the towel on fiction and scholars and critics-even Roth himself-taking...
Literary Labor and Physical Toil: Contesting Notions of Work and Origins in American Pastoral
In Indignation, Philip Roth's protagonist, Marcus Messner, reflects upon the manner in which a steadfast commitment to certain principles of hard work and self-discipline had shaped the existence of both of his parents. On recalling their unwavering...
Liver, Lobster and the Law: Gastronomic Identification and Rebellion in Portnoy's Complaint
Readers of Philip Roth's 1969 Portnoy's Complaint might find the title character's serial callousness at odds with his occupational requirements as Assistant Commissioner on Human Opportunity. In a rare workplace scene, however, Alexander Portnoy extends...
No Joke: Making Jewish Humor
Ruth R. Wisse. No Joke: Making Jewish Humor. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2013. 296 pp. Cloth. $24.95/ £16.95.About ten years ago I learned that you can't explain jokes without actually telling some jokes. I also discovered that the joking itself inevitably...
Reconsidering the Tragic Status of Coleman Silk in the Human Stain
In Philip Roth's The Human Stain (2000), protagonist Coleman Silk is implicitly linked to Sophocles's classic tragic figure Oedipus Rex. The story is wrought with allusions to the great Greek tragedies, but Elaine B. Safer's assertion that "Coleman lacks...
Seeing Paul Gauguin in Philip Roth's "Goodbye, Columbus"
"For it is true: I am a savage [. . . .] Artists have lost all their savagery, all their instincts, one might say their imagination, and so [. . .] they act only as undisciplined crowds and feel frightened, lost as it were, when they are alone."-Paul...
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