Fine Meshwork (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Syracuse University Press
1 colour illustration
229 x 152 x 23 mm
446 g
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Fine Meshwork (häftad)

Fine Meshwork

Edna O'Brien, Philip Roth, and Irish-Jewish Literature

Häftad Engelska, 2019-12-30
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In a 1984 interview with longtime friend Edna O'Brien, Philip Roth describes her writing as ""a piece of fine meshwork, a net of perfectly observed sensuous details that enables you to contain all the longing and pain and remorse that surge through the fiction."" The phrase ""fine meshwork"" not only captures the essence of O'Brien's writing, but also suggests the multiple connective threads that bind her work to others', including, most illuminatingly, Roth's. Since the publication of their first controversial novels in the 1950s and 1960s, Roth and O'Brien have always argued against the isolation of mind from body, autobiography from fiction, life from art, and self from nation. In Fine Meshwork, Dan O'Brien investigates these shared concerns of the two authors, now regarded as literary icons of their respective countries. He traces their forty-year literary friendship and the striking parallels in their books and reception, bringing together what, at first glance, seem to be quite disparate milieus: the largely feminist and Irish scholarship on O'Brien and the American Jewish perspective on Roth. In doing so, and in considering them in a transnational context, he argues that the intertwined nature of their writing symbolizes the far-ranging symbiosis between Irish literature and it's American-particularly Jewish-American-counterpart.
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Exceptional, original . . . O'Brien takes on a fascinating topic about which very little has been written and, in so doing, makes a valuable contribution to the growing corpus of books in the emergent field of Irish-Jewish studies. O'Brien's Fine Meshwork interlaces intricately the works, lives and preoccupations of two (variously) misunderstood contemporary writers so as to ask questions that go beyond considerations of nation and biography. O'Brien's carefully and playfully written study, with its bold thesis of flirtatious intertextuality, will do much to advance their cause, while offering new and exciting frameworks against which to consider Irish and Jewish-American literature both as separate entities and in relation to transnational and transatlantic studies.

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Dan O'Brien is currently an Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow at University College Dublin. He holds a PhD from University College Cork.