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A Voice Still HeardSelected Essays of Irving Howe$
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Irving Howe and Nina Howe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203660

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203660.001.0001

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Strangers {1977}

Strangers {1977}

(p.182) Strangers {1977}
A Voice Still Heard

Irving Howe

Yale University Press

This chapter presents Irving Howe's 1977 essay “Strangers,” a personal account of how young Jewish American students growing up in the immigrant slums of New York in the 1920s and 1930s came to terms with American literature. Howe describes the experiences shared by this generation of American Jewish writers and explores how one makes sense of Ralph Waldo Emerson or Robert Frost when their experiences were so distant from those of the urban immigrants. He also examines why American Jewish writers of fiction did not experiment much with modernism and suggests that it was upon language that they left their mark. More specifically, Howe explains how the Jews helped create a new American style in literature.

Keywords:   fiction, Irving Howe, New York, American literature, American Jewish writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, immigrants, modernism, language, Jews

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