The Task of Memory: American Jewish Writers and the Complexities of Transmission

The Task of Memory: American Jewish Writers and the Complexities of Transmission V I C T O R I A Janet Handler Burstein, Telling the Little Secrets: American Jewish Writing since the 1980s. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006. xv + 264 pp. $45.00. Hana Wirth-Nesher, Call It English: The Languages of Jewish American Literature. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006. xv + 224 pp. $39.50. "T he origin of a story is always an absence," remarks the narrator of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Everything Is Illuminated.1 At the heart of the quest for stories resides a perceived emptiness, a haunting sense of incompletion that needs to be filled. It's a motivating absence, so much so that one finds in the literature by American Jewish writers an urgency to recapture the very essence of those experiences transformed by time and perceptual as well as spatial distance. And while it may be, as Nadine Fresco suggests in "Remembering the Unknown," that finally "One remembers only that one remembers nothing," the desire to return to the origins of the story is undefeated by time or distance, or even by the memory's treacherous imagination.2 Such an impulse to transmit memory characterizes American Jewish literature, from its immigrant roots, to those post­World War II http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

The Task of Memory: American Jewish Writers and the Complexities of Transmission

Contemporary Literature, Volume 49 (2) – Aug 28, 2008

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-wisconsin-press/the-task-of-memory-american-jewish-writers-and-the-complexities-of-1SFpSAtiME
Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
ISSN
1548-9949
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

V I C T O R I A Janet Handler Burstein, Telling the Little Secrets: American Jewish Writing since the 1980s. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006. xv + 264 pp. $45.00. Hana Wirth-Nesher, Call It English: The Languages of Jewish American Literature. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006. xv + 224 pp. $39.50. "T he origin of a story is always an absence," remarks the narrator of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Everything Is Illuminated.1 At the heart of the quest for stories resides a perceived emptiness, a haunting sense of incompletion that needs to be filled. It's a motivating absence, so much so that one finds in the literature by American Jewish writers an urgency to recapture the very essence of those experiences transformed by time and perceptual as well as spatial distance. And while it may be, as Nadine Fresco suggests in "Remembering the Unknown," that finally "One remembers only that one remembers nothing," the desire to return to the origins of the story is undefeated by time or distance, or even by the memory's treacherous imagination.2 Such an impulse to transmit memory characterizes American Jewish literature, from its immigrant roots, to those post­World War II

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Aug 28, 2008

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off