Chapter

Introduction

David Brauner

in Philip Roth

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780719074240
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700938 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074240.003.0001
Introduction

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This book offers an overview of the career of Philip Roth, with particular emphasis on his later work, and an assessment of his contribution to contemporary American fiction. Rather than attempting to survey all of Roth's work, it concentrates on the second half of his career, from the publication of The Ghost Writer (1979) to The Plot Against America (2004). The book considers some of the ways in which Roth's generic experimentation appropriates, complicates and finally parodies aspects of both realism and postmodernism, making connections between these texts and works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Pynchon, Tim O'Brien and Bret Easton Ellis. Moreover, it discusses Roth's treatment of morality, mortality and masculinity in what it considers to be his masterpiece, Sabbath's Theater (1995), comparing it with a short story by Stanley Elkin and a novel by Howard Jacobson that share many of its themes.

Keywords: Philip Roth; fiction; Ghost Writer; Plot Against America; realism; postmodernism; morality; mortality; masculinity; Sabbath's Theater

Chapter.  8457 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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