Jay Martin, Nathanael West and Sacvan Bercovitch each seeks a ‘demythologizing’ perspective, a critical stance that sees through the organizing tropes, the ideological deep structures of the culture in their shared position on the margins, peering in, resisting, as they expose, the containing power of American hegemony. Of late Bercovitch and his mode of demythologizing the rituals of the American literary-cultural imagination has been the subject of stringent critiques from scholars who view his vision of American society as a variation of the old ‘consensus’ history. Leslie Fiedler’s wry anecdote highlights the ways Jewish literary scholars have negotiated their encounter with the American academy and by extension with American culture. According to Martin, West himself was profoundly conflicted about his relation to Jewishness: he rejected what he perceived as the crass materialism of his middle-class, ‘upper-crust Litvak’ descent identity, yet his fiction reverberates with the strains of Jewish folk culture.
|Title of host publication||The Turn Around Religion in America|
|Subtitle of host publication||Literature, Culture, and the Work of Sacvan Bercovitch|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||24|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2016|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The editors and contibutors 2011.