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Diasporas of the MindJewish and Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History$
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Bryan Cheyette

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300093186

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300093186.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 14 May 2021

The American Diaspora

The American Diaspora

Philip Roth and the National Turn

(p.161) 5 The American Diaspora
Diasporas of the Mind

Bryan Cheyette

Yale University Press

Philip Roth, in his early and middle years, characterizes “race,” in the form of European anti-Semitism or the rage of African Americans, as the one discourse that limits the seemingly endless zigzagging of his fiction. This chapter shows that by the time of Roth’s late work, it is the monumental history of the United States that acts as a brake on his transgressive imagination. By locating death and suffering at the heart of his idea of the nation, Roth both universalizes a victimized Jewish diaspora and ceases to be on the side of imaginative “chaos,” as he puts it in I Married a Communist (1998).

Keywords:   diasporic imagination, race, anti-Semitisim, Jewish diaspora

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