Protagonist, Author and Jewish Identity on the Exile: From Antiquity Until Modernity Cover Image

Bohater, autor i tożsamość żydowska na obczyźnie: od starożytności po współczesność
Protagonist, Author and Jewish Identity on the Exile: From Antiquity Until Modernity

Author(s): Wojciech Kowalski, Anna Gawlikowska
Subject(s): Cultural history, Studies of Literature, Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Joseph Flavius; judaism; Jew; image; Jewish identity; Jewish-American literature; Philip Roth; Portnoy‘s Complaint; search for identity;

Summary/Abstract: The following article presents and discusses the issue of a Jewish self-image emerging from the writings of two sons of the Chosen People – an ancient historian, Joseph Flavius, and a contemporary novelist, Philip Roth. The juxtaposed authors represent two different methods of approaching the idea of their nationhood; while Flavius is full of appraisal for it, Roth does not restrain from heavy criticism and attack on the Jewish tradition and the community’s values. Nevertheless, the authors of the article would like to argue that several similarities between these two writers and their works might be observed. Both Flavius and Roth are outlanders, living in the time of a clash between two worlds’ orders and cultures – one of their homeland, and the other alien. Both authors find themselves in a system that has little in common with the world and values they were raised in, which creates psychological tension then translated into their narratives. Though worlds and centuries apart, Flavius and Roth seem to represent two variations of the same struggle with the obstacles ever present in a Jewish life, no matter when and where it is set.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 6
  • Page Range: 268-286
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish