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Representations of Exurbia in Jewish-American Literature

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dc.contributor.advisor Scheckel, Susan en_US
dc.contributor.author Oil, Michael en_US
dc.contributor.other Department of English. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-20T16:52:53Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-20T16:52:53Z
dc.date.issued 2015-05-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11401/77538 en_US
dc.description 156 pg. en_US
dc.description.abstract Jewish-American literature is conventionally thought to be urban in terms of sensibility and geographical setting. This is understandable given that the city, especially New York, has figured centrally in the genre. Yet the strong identification of Jewish-American writing with urbanism, I show in this study, has obscured a significant strain of exurban desire in the works of Jewish-American poets and novelists. Even the emerging subfield of Jewish spatial studies continues to overlook representations of rural areas and nature in Jewish-American literature despite its expressed commitment to examine sites previously ignored by literary scholars. My project begins to remedy this neglect by recovering and interpreting the complex of exurbanism in the poetry of Morris Rosenfeld, Yehoash, and I.J. Schwartz, and in novels and stories by Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth. Far from being sui generis, the exurbanism of these writers, I argue, is contiguous with the incipient naturism of Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) intellectuals, who sought to usher traditional European Jews into modernity, and inspired by motifs and ideals latent in Jewish liturgy, (neo-)Hasidism, the Hebrew Bible, and Yiddishkayt. Not surprisingly, Jewish-American literary exurbanism is also indebted to Euro-American pastoral, and specifically to such writers as Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. A profoundly hybrid construction, Jewish-American literary exurbanism, I contend, inflects both Jewish and American identity, the former by valorizing a topos viewed as inherently assimilationist by Jewish traditionalists, and the latter through its critique of the masculinism, inwardness, and escapism that are associated with conventional forms of pastoral. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work is sponsored by the Stony Brook University Graduate School in compliance with the requirements for completion of degree. en_US
dc.format Monograph en_US
dc.format.medium Electronic Resource en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Literature en_US
dc.subject.other Ecocriticism, Exurbia, Jewish identity, Nature, Pastoral, Yiddishkayt en_US
dc.title Representations of Exurbia in Jewish-American Literature en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.mimetype Application/PDF en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Manning, Peter en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Hutner, Heidi en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Omer-Sherman, Ranen. en_US


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