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Facing Black and Jew

Literature as Public Space in Twentieth-Century America

Facing Black and Jew by Adam Zachary Newton
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A reading of African American and Jewish American writers from Henry Roth and Ralph Ellison to Philip Roth and David Bradley. Reading the work of such writers alongside and through one another, Newton's book offers an original way of juxtaposing two major traditions in modern American literature, and rethinking the sometimes vexed relationship between two constituencies ordinarily confined to sociopolitical or media commentary alone. Newton combines Emmanuel Levinas's ethical philosophy and Walter Benjamin's theory of allegory in shaping an innovative kind of ethical-political criticism. Through artful, dialogical readings of Saul Bellow and Chester Himes, David Mamet and Anna Deavere Smith, and others, Newton seeks to represent American Blacks and Jews outside the distorting mirror of 'Black-Jewish Relations', and restrictive literary histories alike. A final chapter addresses the Black/Jewish dimension of the O. J. Simpson trial.
Cambridge University Press; July 1999
238 pages; ISBN 9780511036996
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Title: Facing Black and Jew
Author: Adam Zachary Newton