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Şcoala ardeleană de critică şi istorie literară

American exceptionalism and jewish identity. Their (his) story and the ghetto of the mind
American exceptionalism and jewish identity. Their (his) story and the ghetto of the mind

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  • An apariție: 2018
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-606-797-305-1
  • Format: 16x23cm
  • Pagini: 220
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The volume was published in collaboration with Eikon Publishing House

 

American literature in the middle of the twentieth century was mainly preoccupied with the relationship between the writer and the reader, between imagination and lived experience, between fiction and truth, between the reader and the text. Nowadays authors are preoccupied to define themselves in a postmodernist era. However, we have to bear in mind the fact that the twentieth century was one of the very problematical struggles and contested boundaries. It was also a period when literary art was struggling with what to do with the legacy of modernism in the early century. More than this, there was another tension going on in that period that matters most for our thesis and which was very present in the writings of Theodore Dreiser and Richard Wright, namely the strain of naturalism.
Moreover, the book explores the grounds of American exceptionalism and identity and their history as concepts and more than that, it draws on the notion of the American dream and its uniqueness. I do believe that America is a nation that is capable of reinventing itself, and it is still a powerful actor in the international system. Even if the American soul is hard and stoic, it is unquestionably a victor's one with a strong sense of 'national consciousnesses' and not a killer. Furthermore, the book presents the concepts of Jewishness and the American Idea just as the authors Philip Roth and Jonathan Safran Foer portrayed them and related to them in their works. Safran Foer, a third generation survivor of the Holocaust writes about the tragedy in his first novel, a semi-autobiographical and experimental that addresses themes of collective memory family identity, and the ethical relation of the present to the past through a series of picaresque narrative, epistolary interludes, and magical realism. The emphasis is placed on Roth's novels, due to the fact that no other American author fought as much as he did to challenge old stereotypes and establish his identity as a Jew in America. Both in Fore and Roth's narratives we will come across a dual perspective that suggests how the empathic gap between distance and proximity could be outlined more directly regarding the temporal dimension, being clear by now hat time does not work in a logical manner. (Alexandra-Ana Tolnai)

* * *

Alexandra-Ana Tolnai, Ph.D., is a Post-doctoral Researcher and Special Assistant to the University President, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Hațieganu" Cluj-Napoca. She holds a Ph.D. in American Literature and is winner of a Scientific Research Scholarship in Sociology. She has an extensive experience in International Relations and American culture, acquired during her studies, both in Romanian and in UK.  Due to her Russian-Jewish ancestry, that her family preserves on the line of her paternal grandfather and being raised with stories about how her relatives perished in the concentration camps, the importance of preserving their memory and establish ones identity, she choose these themes for
a book.

The volume was published in collaboration with Eikon Publishing House

 

American literature in the middle of the twentieth century was mainly preoccupied with the relationship between the writer and the reader, between imagination and lived experience, between fiction and truth, between the reader and the text. Nowadays authors are preoccupied to define themselves in a postmodernist era. However, we have to bear in mind the fact that the twentieth century was one of the very problematical struggles and contested boundaries. It was also a period when literary art was struggling with what to do with the legacy of modernism in the early century. More than this, there was another tension going on in that period that matters most for our thesis and which was very present in the writings of Theodore Dreiser and Richard Wright, namely the strain of naturalism.
Moreover, the book explores the grounds of American exceptionalism and identity and their history as concepts and more than that, it draws on the notion of the American dream and its uniqueness. I do believe that America is a nation that is capable of reinventing itself, and it is still a powerful actor in the international system. Even if the American soul is hard and stoic, it is unquestionably a victor's one with a strong sense of 'national consciousnesses' and not a killer. Furthermore, the book presents the concepts of Jewishness and the American Idea just as the authors Philip Roth and Jonathan Safran Foer portrayed them and related to them in their works. Safran Foer, a third generation survivor of the Holocaust writes about the tragedy in his first novel, a semi-autobiographical and experimental that addresses themes of collective memory family identity, and the ethical relation of the present to the past through a series of picaresque narrative, epistolary interludes, and magical realism. The emphasis is placed on Roth's novels, due to the fact that no other American author fought as much as he did to challenge old stereotypes and establish his identity as a Jew in America. Both in Fore and Roth's narratives we will come across a dual perspective that suggests how the empathic gap between distance and proximity could be outlined more directly regarding the temporal dimension, being clear by now hat time does not work in a logical manner. (Alexandra-Ana Tolnai)

* * *

Alexandra-Ana Tolnai, Ph.D., is a Post-doctoral Researcher and Special Assistant to the University President, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Hațieganu" Cluj-Napoca. She holds a Ph.D. in American Literature and is winner of a Scientific Research Scholarship in Sociology. She has an extensive experience in International Relations and American culture, acquired during her studies, both in Romanian and in UK.  Due to her Russian-Jewish ancestry, that her family preserves on the line of her paternal grandfather and being raised with stories about how her relatives perished in the concentration camps, the importance of preserving their memory and establish ones identity, she choose these themes for
a book.

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