Cynthia Ozick's Comic Art

Cynthia Ozick's Comic Art : From Levity to Liturgy

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Description

Bringing to bear insights from Jewish, literary, and cultural studies, Sarah Blacher Cohen sheds new light on the works of one of America's foremost writers. Arguing persuasively that Ozick's fiction is a form of comedy, Cohen interweaves religion and literature, skilfully illuminating the complex relationship between the comic and the sacred. Where others have emphasized Ozick's intellectualism and Jewish learning, Cohen foregrounds whimsicality, grotesque realism, irony, satire, and exuberance as the defining characteristics of Ozick's art in such works as "Trust", "The Cannibal Galaxy", "The Messiah of Stockholm", "The Pagan Rabbi", and "The Puttermesser Stories".show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 146.8 x 217.4 x 22.4mm | 482.72g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 14th ed.
  • 0253313988
  • 9780253313980

Back cover copy

Bringing to bear insights from Jewish, literary, and cultural studies, Sarah Blacher Cohen sheds new light on the works of one of America's foremost writers. Arguing persuasively that Ozick's fiction is a form of comedy, Cohen interweaves religion and literature, skillfully illuminating the complex relationship between the comic and the sacred. Where others have emphasized Ozick's intellectualism and Jewish learning, Cohen foregrounds whimsicality, grotesque realism, irony, satire, and exuberance as the defining characteristics of Ozick's art in such works as Trust, The Cannibal Galaxy, The Messiah of Stockholm, "The Pagan Rabbi", and the Puttermesser stories.show more

About Sarah Blacher Cohen

SARAH BLACHER COHEN is Professor of English at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is author of Saul Bellow's Enigmatic Laughter and editor of From Hester Street to Hollywood, Jewish Wry, and Comic Relief.show more

Table of contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I. Introduction: Cynthia OzickOs Comic Art of Truth-Telling II. Trust: Comedy of Manners and Morals III. Envy; or Yiddish in AMerica: Elegy, Satire, and Celebration IV. The Pagan Rabbi, Levitation, and Usurpation: Wry Jokes on Realism V. The Puttermesser Stories: Feminist Follies VI. The Cannibal Galaxy: From Caustic Humor to Midrashic Laughter VII. The Messiah of Stockholm and the Cackle of Satire VIII. The Shawl: The Tragicomedy of Revolt and Survival IX. Conclusion: From Low to High Comedy SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEXshow more

Review quote

"In presenting Ozick as a 'comedian of ideas', Sarah Blacher Cohen has raised the study of Ozick to a new level." Alan L. Berger "[Cohen] understands Ozick's hybrid conception of human nature, her realization that the secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow and that the ironic mode ... is the best way of telling the truth." Daniel Walden "Cohen has succeeded in showing a fusion of Ozick's writing as sacred and comic. Defining humor broadly, Cohen persuasively argues that levity and liturgy are natural companions, enriching each other, especially in the creative imagination of Cynthia Ozick." Midstream " ... a thoughtful introduction to a monumental though underrated writer." SHOFAR "This study is a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarly criticism of Ozick and focuses on her comedic style." Choice "Cohen has written an important ... book, one that celebrates Ozick's 'liturgical laughter', emphasizing on every occasion the connection between the comic and the sacred. It is a connection we should be reminded of often." Belles Lettres "Cohen's readings of these stories reveal their many levels and meanings in a language as acute and perceptive as that of Ozick herself." St. Louis Post-Dispatch Magazineshow more

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