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Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts$
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Ezra Mendelsohn

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195112030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112030.001.0001

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The Grapes of Roth: “Diasporism” Between Portnoy and Shy lock

The Grapes of Roth: “Diasporism” Between Portnoy and Shy lock

Chapter:
(p.148) The Grapes of Roth: “Diasporism” Between Portnoy and Shy lock
Source:
Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts
Author(s):

Ezra Mendelsohn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112030.003.0008

This chapter discusses Philip Roth's addition to the growing chorus of “diasporists” in the academy and the arts. In his novel Operation Shylock: A Confession, Roth made a cultural statement that not only finds value in recuperating discarded or defunct models, like crinolines crumbling in an old attic trunk, it is part of a postmodern search for value in the interstices, in the outskirts and peripheries of sacred centers and in the imagination of alternative worlds. The book is a narrative fiction whose conventional mandate and popular appeal lie in its potential for entertainment or edification, its main achievement lies in enacting some of the more ludicrous or lurid dimensions of a larger cultural agenda.

Keywords:   Philip Roth, diasporists, Operation Shylock, narrative, fiction, entertainment, cultural agenda

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