Transferring to America
Jewish Interpretations of American Dreams
Publication Year: 1995
Published by: State University of New York Press
It will soon become evident to readers that this project is in no small measure the fruit of my own fairly recent transfer, and hence transference, to America, so I might as well acknowledge as much at the outset and declare it without further ado. On the other hand, however, a self-dramatizing opening gambit...
At various moments in the course of composing this book, both Sacvan Bercovitch and Stanley Cavell were asked to undertake the delicate and disconcerting task of reading drafts of a manuscript pertaining very directly and personally to their own lives as well as to their work. Their responses could hardly have been more gracious, generous, or encouraging...
Introduction: The Tactics of Cultural Integration
It would be useful to start by marking out the parameters and indicating the complexity of the terrain upon which this particular study of the work of Harold Bloom, Stanley Cavell, and Sacvan Bercovitch will take place. Before doing so, it is worth pausing to note that there is no need to delve very far into the work of these scholars to discover that each of them is acutely...
1. Sources of Assistance: French Theory and Psychoanalysis
To repeat, then: this book's primary purpose is to treat the intellectual and scholarly projects of Bloom, Cavell, and Bercovitch in the light of the fact that they are all second-generation immigrant sons whose work reveals the aspirations and anxieties of ongoing attempts to locate themselves within their adoptive culture...
2. Prospects of Culture: Interpreting American Dreams
Here is another story: A favorite son, adept at understanding dreams, finds himself first plotted against and betrayed by his siblings, then forcibly exiled and later imprisoned in a foreign land. However, in the course of time his special skill enables him not only to extricate himself from a precarious predicament, but to rise to a position of considerable power at the right hand of his new country's leader...
3. Wrest(l)ing Authority: The Agonism of Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom's work over the last decade or so leaves his readers in no doubt as to his interest in, and indeed commitment to, Jewishness. Looking back, one gets a sense of growth, a veritable burgeoning of this new tendency...
4. Finding Acknowledgment: The Inheritance of Stanley Cavell
One motivating factor in the decision to include Stanley Cavell in this project is the complex conjoining in his work of the Jewish with the ordinary.1 My interest in this juxtaposition, and in Cavell's self-conscious preoccupation with American ordinariness, as embodied both in the writings of Thoreau and Emerson and in Hollywood film...
5. Identifying Rhetorics: The Acculturation of Sacvan Bercovitch
Where it might be difficult, even at a stretch of the imagination, to see the work of either Bloom or Cavell fitting at all comfortably into an Americanist or American cultural studies context as such, Sacvan Bercovitch does seem broadly speaking and ostensibly to belong under this rubric. Insofar as one provisionally accepts...
I wish here-in necessarily succinct and cursory fashion-to place both the work of Bloom, Cavell, and Bercovitch and my own effort to bring them together under the aegis of this book's theses in the context of the contemporary critical and theoretical scene. This requires comparison and contrast not only with other...
Page Count: 302
Publication Year: 1995
Series Title: SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture
Series Editor Byline: Sarah Blacher Cohen See more Books in this Series
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