Lecture 20 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain (cont.)

author: Amy Hungerford, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 8, 2011,   recorded: April 2008,   views: 2890
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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In this lecture Professor Hungerford discusses how the novels we read are shaped by legal and market constraints. She traces a history of censorship from the Comstock laws, to the policing of Joyce's Ulysses and Ginsberg's Howl, and shows how changes in publishing practices have tended to penalize more unusual, less profitable books. Hungerford also touches on the canon debates of the 80s and 90s (citing John Guillory and Toni Morrison), and the issues of intellectual property and internationalization raised by digital literature. Finally, she points to some ways that Philip Roth, despite his controversial representations of Judaism and of women, succeeds in tackling fundamental human concerns.

Reading assignment:

Philip Roth, The Human Stain (2000)

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Dominick, September 2, 2012 at 3:37 a.m.:

I'm assuming she meant Powell's in Portland :)

Comment2 Dominick, September 2, 2012 at 11:10 p.m.:

Professor Hungerford's point at the end about why she still likes Roth's writing despite his misogyny is extremely well articulated and resonant.

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