By Adam Zachary Newton
Adam Zachary Newton works of prose fiction through African American and Jewish American authors from Henry Roth and Ralph Ellison to Philip Roth and David Bradley. examining the paintings of such writers along and during each other, Newton deals an unique method of juxtaposing significant traditions in American literature and rethinking their occasionally vexing courting. Newton combines Emmanuel Levinas' moral philosophy and Walter Benjamin's thought of allegory in shaping an cutting edge form of ethical-political feedback. a last bankruptcy addresses the Black/Jewish measurement of the O. J. Simpson trial.
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Additional resources for Facing Black and Jew: Literature as Public Space in Twentieth-Century America (Cultural Margins)
When one text in question is a first person novel and the other third-person, when that first person is an adult, and that third person a child, and when that child’s drama is confined primarily to the interior spaces of mind and inchoate signification, and that adult’s exploits the dimensions of physical space and signifyin(g) out loud, obviously, strictly narrative form and structure will not permit a facile correlation. Yet I would argue, bracketing such divergence does not necessarily distort the case for comparison, but may free us instead to explore certain thematic parallels otherwise obscured.
And for the clarinet of ethnicity and the saxophone of race alike (as Langston Hughes said of the latter poetically), the ‘‘vulgar tone’’ of mere metal or wood – critical constructs – sounds more musically within, and between, the texts themselves. A lesson from literary history Certainly one can select almost any pair of novels, place them in parallel, and draw up a list of columnar affinities. But novels like Roth’s and Ellison’s can be understood as themselves inviting such a linkage – an elective affinity as opposed to a merely selective one.
Du Bois’s own uncannily Levinasian formulation, becomes more visible through the other’s revelation. 23 1 ‘‘An antiphonal game’’ and beyond: facing Ralph Ellison and Henry Roth I myself was a public square, a sook; through me passed words, tiny syntagms, bits of sentence . . Roland Barthes 24 Ellison and Roth In this chapter I will trace out some implications of facing as an encounter in sensibility – an antiphony or call and response in sound and sight. What develops over its chapter does not, however, pretend to efface the differences that make Roth’s novel Roth’s novel and Ellison’s, Ellison’s.