Catalogue

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Exiles on main street : Jewish American writers and American literary culture /
Julian Levinson.
imprint
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2008.
description
x, 239 p.
ISBN
0253350816 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780253350817 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2008.
isbn
0253350816 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780253350817 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Breathing free in the New World: transcendentalism and the Jewish soul -- Battling the nativists: mystics, prophets, and rebels in interwar America -- Yiddish interlude -- "Orating in New Yorkese": the languages of Jewishness in postwar America.
catalogue key
6440709
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
National Jewish Book Awards, USA, 2008 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-12-01:
Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American literature and Jewish cultural continuity. He charts the influence of American literary culture--primarily the traditions of Emerson and Whitman, and to a lesser degree modernists and Southern regionalists--on the poetry of Emma Lazarus and the fiction and prose of Mary Antin, Anzia Yezierska, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe. These encounters, Levinson convincingly demonstrates, have "provided Jews with new ways of understanding themselves as Jews," generating "a heightened form of Jewish identification" and means to construct "narratives of return." Nuanced reading of Antin's spiritual awakening and Yezierska's communal acknowledgement in the spirit of Lewishon and Frank complements earlier ethnic and feminist theoretical approaches. And detailed examination of Kazin's autobiographical writing and Howe's recovery of Yiddish literature illuminate these prominent critics' personal trajectories from alienation to strengthened Jewish identity and their crucial roles in "putting Jewish American literature on the cultural map." This accessible analysis contextualizes the literature related to Russian pogroms, post-WW I American xenophobia, the Holocaust, and the decline of the anti-Stalinist left. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers. S. L. Kremer emerita, Kansas State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
An entirely original and absorbing piece of scholarship and historical reconstruction [that] engages the Jewish-American literary canon and redefines it.... An excellent, pioneering book.
"An entirely original and absorbing piece of scholarship and historical reconstruction [that] engages the Jewish-American literary canon and redefines it. . . . An excellent, pioneering book." Mark Shechner, author ofAfter the Revolution
"An entirely original and absorbing piece of scholarship and historical reconstruction [that] engages the Jewish -- American literary canon and redefines it.... An excellent, pioneering book." -- Mark Shechner, author of After the Revolution
"An entirely original and absorbing piece of scholarship and historical reconstruction [that] engages the Jewish-American literary canon and redefines it.... An excellent, pioneering book." -Mark Shechner, author of After the Revolution
... a standout work in the field of American Jewish Literature... Levinson is well-attuned to the critical trends and thinking that are prevalent in the world of literary scholarship and applies them to the book's selected authors and texts in a way that is fresh and thoughtful...
"... a standout work in the field of American Jewish Literature... Levinson is well-attuned to the critical trends and thinking that are prevalent in the world of literary scholarship and applies them to the book's selected authors and texts in a way that is fresh and thoughtful..." -- Shana Rosenblatt Mauer, Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2008
"... a standout work in the field of American Jewish Literature... Levinson is well-attuned to the critical trends and thinking that are prevalent in the world of literary scholarship and applies them to the book's selected authors and texts in a way that is fresh and thoughtful..." -Shana Rosenblatt Mauer, Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2008
... Exiles on Main Street is an original contribution to the continuing story of the creative encounter between Jewish writers and America.
"... Exiles on Main Street is an original contribution to the continuing story of the creative encounter between Jewish writers and America." -- Jewish Book World, Summer 2009
"... Exiles on Main Street is an original contribution to the continuing story of the creative encounter between Jewish writers and America." -Jewish Book World, Summer 2009
Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American Literature and Jewish Cultural continuity.
"Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American Literature and Jewish Cultural continuity." -- S.L. Kremer, Choice Reviews Online, 2007
"Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American Literature and Jewish Cultural continuity." -S.L. Kremer, Choice Reviews Online, 2007
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
How have the Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews.
Main Description
Delineates the creative dialogue between Jewish writers and American culture
Main Description
How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture-in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman-led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation,Exiles on Main Streettraces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.
Main Description
How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture -- in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman -- led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation, Exiles on Main Street traces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.
Main Description
How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture-in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman-led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation, Exiles on Main Street traces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Breathing Free in the New World: Transcendentalism and the Jewish Soulp. 13
Songs of a Semite: Emma Lazarus and the Muse of Historyp. 16
Ecstasies of the Credulous: Mary Antin and the Spirit of the Shtetlp. 37
Battling the Nativists: Mystics, Prophets, and Rebels in Interwar Americap. 53
"Pilgrim to a Forgotten Shrine": Ludwig Lewisohn and the Recovery of the Inner Jewp. 56
Modernist Flasks, Jewish Wine: Waldo Frank and the Immanence of Godp. 76
Cinderella's Dybbuk: Anzia Yezierska as the Voice of Generationsp. 93
Yiddish Interludep. 119
From Heine to Whitman: The Yiddish Poets Come to Americap. 121
"Orating in New Yorkese": The Languages of Jewishness in Postwar Americap. 143
"My Private Orthodoxy": Alfred Kazin's Romantic Judaismp. 147
The Jewish Writer Flies at Twilight: Irving Howe and the Recovery of Yiddishkaytp. 171
Conclusionp. 192
Notesp. 201
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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