Biblical Typology and the Jewish American Imagination

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Turn Around Religion in America
Subtitle of host publicationLiterature, Culture, and the Work of Sacvan Bercovitch
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781317012948
ISBN (Print)9781409430186
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The editors and contibutors 2011.


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