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Philip Roth on How He Was Shaped by Gentile American Writers
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From The New Yorker, an interesting self-portrait of growing up Jewish and American in mid-Century America by Philip Roth, author of Portnoy’s Complaint and American Pastoral. Roth is one of the survivors from a generation formed before the Sixties and before the subsequent rise of globalism, along with Woody Allen, Ralph Lauren, and, perhaps, Bob Dylan. (Here’s Dylan’s Nobel lecture.)

I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH AMERICAN NAMES
Shaping a writer.
By Philip Roth

JUNE 5 & 12, 2017 ISSUE

The writers who shaped my sense of my country were mostly born in America some thirty to sixty years before me, around the time that millions of the impoverished were leaving the Old World for the New and the tenement slums of our cities were filling up with, among others, Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe. These writers knew little about the families of youngsters like myself, a rather typical American grandchild of four of those poor nineteenth-century Jewish immigrants, whose children, my parents, grew up in a country that they felt entirely a part of and toward which they harbored a deep devotion—a replica of the Declaration of Independence hung framed in our hallway. Born in New Jersey at the start of the twentieth century, my mother and father were happily at home in America, even though they had no delusions and knew themselves to be socially stigmatized and regarded as repellent alien outsiders by any number of their anointed betters, and even though they came to maturity in an America that, until the decades following the Second World War, systematically excluded Jews from much of its institutional and corporate life.

The writers who shaped and expanded my sense of America were mainly small-town Midwesterners and Southerners. None were Jews. What had shaped them was not the mass immigration of 1880-1910, which had severed my family from the Old Country constraints of a ghetto existence and the surveillance of religious orthodoxy and the threat of anti-Semitic violence, but the overtaking of the farm and the farmer’s indigenous village values by the pervasive business culture and its profit-oriented pursuits. These were writers shaped by the industrialization of agrarian America, which caught fire in the eighteen-seventies and which, by providing jobs for that horde of cheap unskilled immigrants, expedited the immigrant absorption into society and the Americanization, largely by way of the public-school system, of the immigrant offspring. They were shaped by the transforming power of the industrialized cities—by the hardships of the urban working poor that were inspiring the union movement—as much as by the acquisitive energy of the omnivorous capitalists and their trusts and monopolies and their union busting. …

What attracted me to these writers when I was a raw reader of sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen—I am thinking of, among others, Theodore Dreiser, born in Indiana in 1871, Sherwood Anderson, born in Ohio in 1876, Ring Lardner, born in Michigan in 1885, Sinclair Lewis, born in Minnesota in 1885, Thomas Wolfe, born in North Carolina in 1900, Erskine Caldwell, born in Georgia in 1903—what drew me to them was my great ignorance of the thousands of miles of America that extended north, south, and west of Newark, New Jersey, where I was raised. Yes, I had been born to these parents, in this time, with their struggles, but I would volunteer to become the child of those writers as well, and through my immersion in their fiction try to apprehend their American places as a second reality that was, to an American kid in a Jewish neighborhood in industrial Newark, a vivifying expansion of his own. Through my reading, the mytho-historical conception of my country that I had developed in grade school, from 1938 to 1946, began to be divested of its grandiosity and to unravel into the individual threads of American reality the wartime tapestry that paid moving homage to the country’s idealized self-image.

Fascination with the country’s uniqueness was especially strong in the years after the Second World War, when, as a high-school student, I began to turn to the open stacks of the Newark Public Library to enlarge my sense of where I lived. …

 
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  1. my great ignorance of the thousands of miles of America that extended north, south, and west of Newark, New Jersey, where I was raised

    Kathleen Norris, of Dakota, a Spiritual Biography, notes the parochial view of coastal inhabitants. Those inhabitants don’t seem to notice that they are the hicks – despite their perspicacious fellow-travelers pointing their collective defects.

    Read More
    • Replies: @daniel le mouche
    Thank you very much, my experiences bear you out. I especially found the inner city dwellers of, say, south Philly to be some sort of mutants. And what about Maine, Massachusetts? Bunch of wackos, perhaps even wackier than the English themselves.
    And yet these big coastal city dwellers content themselves laughing at the inhabitants of 'flyover country'.
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  2. Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    (If you want a book that does the latter well, go with Dostoevsky’s Notes From The Underground. If you want the former, well, rule 34.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    masterbates

    "he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn't mind meeting the author of "Portnoy," but that she didn't want to shake his hand."
    , @JohnnyD
    ,
    I didn't like Portnoy's Complaint either. But some of Roth's other works, like American Pastoral and Goodbye Columbus, are really good. Roth is interesting to read because his depictions of American Jewish life are often critical and negative.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    It can be useful and interesting from a theory of mind perspective to at least be aware of such works. Especially if the writer is narratively honest enough to have illuminating “insight.” Of course, one shouldn’t extrapolate broadly from just one work or one voice—this is why unbiased pattern recognition and recurrent noticing are invaluable to greater understanding.
    , @Amasius
    Heller was better. His "Something Happened" is a tremendously underrated work of brilliant cynicism.
    , @whorefinder

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.
     
    Unfortunately, that does explain his "appeal." Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth's works appealed to them, as he was a "voice" of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary "great" author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the "Generation Gap"/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy's Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn't aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he "gets" them.

    Much of Roth's work is really insular to Jews, and it's rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn't find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth's work doesn't even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he's talking about as he writes. Since that's the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn't resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it's assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it's going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you're ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham's depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

  3. Paging Marjorie Morningstar …. Paging Marjorie Morningstar …

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    I could be wrong, but I think Herman Wouk is still alive - and if he is, he is one of the few living WWII vets who were officers in anything like a command role.
  4. @nebulafox
    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy's Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    (If you want a book that does the latter well, go with Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground. If you want the former, well, rule 34.)

    masterbates

    “he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn’t mind meeting the author of “Portnoy,” but that she didn’t want to shake his hand.”

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    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "“he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn’t mind meeting the author of “Portnoy,” but that she didn’t want to shake his hand.” "


    Ewwww....
    , @John Derbyshire
    "Meanwhile, on the fiction [bestseller] lists, Portnoy's Complaint is holding its own at Number One." — London Sunday Times, circa 1970.
    , @Dan Hayes
    utu:

    I heard Jacqueline Susann make the same statement regarding Roth's proclivities on Long John Nebel's radio program at about that same time frame.

  5. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    … were happily at home in America, even though they had no delusions and knew themselves to be socially stigmatized and regarded as repellent alien outsiders by any number of their anointed betters, …

    Join the club.

    Read More
    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    As it pertains to his parents, it's a bunch of bollocks anyways.
  6. the surveillance of religious orthodoxy

    They always have to project their animus outwards. Roth hates the oppressive power structure of Orthodox Judaism, but describes it generically as “religious orthodoxy” to encourage the Goyim to shed their own religion.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    describes it generically as “religious orthodoxy” to encourage the Goyim to shed their own religion.
     
    He might not be conscious about it, it might just be a result of his unwillingness to criticize specifically his own religion in front of a wide outsider audience. He might understand the effect this has on the goyim but just doesn't care, or even thinks that it's better if Jews shed their religion, then the goyim shed theirs, too.
  7. “…America that, until the decades following the Second World War, systematically excluded Jews from much of its institutional and corporate life….”
    

    It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition.

    Read More
    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    "It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition."

    Not a fake memory at all. Corperations, 3 letter companies, the phone company, Con Edison, white-shoe law firms, before 1945 did not hire jews. I grew up in those years and that fact was widely known. Resorts did not admit jewish guests, giving rise to the jewish resorts in the Catskills. Real-estate convenants barring sales to jews were legal. Also hard to get into medical schools which had a quota system strictly limiting jews for admission (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians). Descrimination against jews decreased radically after WW II which I imagine was connected somehow to the revelation of Nazi crimes.

  8. Interesting he mentions Sherwood Anderson. In his memoir, the Israeli novelist Amos Oz wrote that Anderson’s stories about Winesburg, Ohio were his inspiration to become a writer, when he was a nobody living in Nowheresville, Israel. He wrote that he was honored, decades later, to be asked to write the forward to a new edition of Anderson’s stories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Malcolm X-Lax
    Anderson may be the most influential and least well known writer of the early part of the 20th Century. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Henry Miller all acknowledged his influence, though Hemingway in typical Hemingway fashion viciously turned on the generous elder writer. Yet he's almost forgotten today. When I was an English major in the late 80s early 90s, Anderson's Winesberg, Ohio was a book we all had to read. In re Roth, funniest part of Portnoy's Complaint is when he talks about his overwhelming lust for Shiksas and his utter contempt for their beliefs, ideas, thoughts etc. Roth! What a guy!
  9. @nebulafox
    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy's Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    (If you want a book that does the latter well, go with Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground. If you want the former, well, rule 34.)

    ,
    I didn’t like Portnoy’s Complaint either. But some of Roth’s other works, like American Pastoral and Goodbye Columbus, are really good. Roth is interesting to read because his depictions of American Jewish life are often critical and negative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thea
    I found Goodbye Columbus boring, depressing and meaningless. Did I miss something?
    , @guest
    "his depictions of American Jewish life are often critical and negative"

    The main character of Indignation is a real piece of work, and in my opinion unsympathetic.

    So are basically all the characters in the ridiculous Plot Against America, which otherwise could be the Great American Paranoid Jew Novel.
  10. Naturally, the Midwestern authors Roth champions were men who LOATHED the Midwest and despised their neighbors.

    Sinclair Lewis’ work told young Philip Roth, “Yep, the victim are just as stupid, narrow minded and bigoted as you always suspected.” Roth’s silly ” Plot Against America” was his tribute to Lewis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    That's basically true, but as always with this sort of thing you must calibrate for time. Lewis' loathing could be considered gentle fondness compared to the way a contemporary progressive views the Babbitts of the world. Even Kingsblood Royal, where a heretofore regular white guy has his while world blown up because it's discovered he has black drops in his blood, would give an SJW fits for its depiction of blacks.

    Still, Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.
  11. Naturally, the Midwestern authors Roth champions were men who LOATHED the Midwest and despised their neighbors.

    Sinclair Lewis’ work told young Philip Roth, “Yep, the goyim are just as stupid, narrow minded and bigoted as you always suspected.” Roth’s silly ” Plot Against America” was his tribute to Lewis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @newrouter
    “The old Jews like my grandparents had struggled and died, and their offspring had struggled and prospered, and moved further and further west, towards the edge of Newark, then out of it, and up the slope of the Orange Mountains, until they had reached the crest and started down the other side, pouring into Gentile territory.”

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/philip-roths-newark-15132.html
    , @syonredux
    Sinclair Lewis had more of a love-hate relationship with the Midwest.And that kind of back-and-forth is conducive to good writing.
  12. @utu
    masterbates

    "he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn't mind meeting the author of "Portnoy," but that she didn't want to shake his hand."

    ““he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn’t mind meeting the author of “Portnoy,” but that she didn’t want to shake his hand.” ”

    Ewwww….

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  13. Didn’t Roth write a novel about Charles Lindbergh winning the Presidency as a Nazi?

    Doesn’t seem like Roth has all that much affection for flyover goyim.

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  14. @Dave Pinsen
    Interesting he mentions Sherwood Anderson. In his memoir, the Israeli novelist Amos Oz wrote that Anderson's stories about Winesburg, Ohio were his inspiration to become a writer, when he was a nobody living in Nowheresville, Israel. He wrote that he was honored, decades later, to be asked to write the forward to a new edition of Anderson's stories.

    Anderson may be the most influential and least well known writer of the early part of the 20th Century. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Henry Miller all acknowledged his influence, though Hemingway in typical Hemingway fashion viciously turned on the generous elder writer. Yet he’s almost forgotten today. When I was an English major in the late 80s early 90s, Anderson’s Winesberg, Ohio was a book we all had to read. In re Roth, funniest part of Portnoy’s Complaint is when he talks about his overwhelming lust for Shiksas and his utter contempt for their beliefs, ideas, thoughts etc. Roth! What a guy!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Here's part of Oz on Anderson.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/874098458168360960
    , @Stealth
    I had to read that in Lit 1. It was one of the books I enjoyed.
    , @Desiderius
    I remember reading excerpts in high school.

    That is all I remember about it.

    In contrast to, say, Chekhov, who changed the way I looked at the world.
    , @guest
    Anderson's fate is strange, considering the catchy story about his nervous breakdown. Up and walking away from a successful career as a businessman, wandering for days, then vowing to write of his experiences, or whatever it was. It's mythical, at least in modernist circles.

    But not everyone can be remembered, historical importance and literary value aside. Not many people read short stories anymore, for one. Except in school. We might forget Hemingway and Fitzgerald if they didn't have their novels, too. Anderson wrote novels, of course, but none of them stuck, so to speak. Winesburg, Ohio is as close to being a novel as any collection of short stories I've read, but I guess it wasn't enough.

    I won't suggest conspiracy theory, as I do for some forgotten modern masters (John O'Hara, John P. Marquand, James Gould Cozzens, whom I bring up because I'm still pissed I had to stumble upon them by accident), because despite not standing out for experimental or political reasons, Anderson is still useful to modernism. But other former big modernist names have declined. D.H. Lawrence is nothing but the good kind of pornographer in popular consciousness, and Wyndham Lewis barely exists at all. Dreiser survives as typical of crude realism that gets assigned if schools have time. I feel Sinclair Lewis slipping away, though Trump's election probably boosted sales of It Can't Happen Here.

    Possibly Anderson met the same fate as Samuel Butler. Butler was like a bolt out of the blue in his own time, but now no one reads The Way of All Flesh. They don't have to. They already know it without bothering to read it. The same can be said of Babbitt. I actually read Babbitt (I have to read Lewis; it's the law in MN), and it felt like deja vu. That book is baked into the culture now.

  15. an America that, until the decades following the Second World War, systematically excluded Jews from much of its institutional and corporate life.

    Oh yeah, that one again. Which stat to pull out now? Well, since we’ve been talking about colleges so much lately, how about (Jewish scholar) Jerome Karabel’s finding in “The Chosen” (p.105) that Harvard’s Jewish population was around 30% in 1925? What institution more perfectly represents the pinnacle of Establishment exclusivity than Harvard University (especially back then–and the other top schools show similar figures)? Is this 30% figure even remotely proportional to their representation in the general population? Even within an order of magnitude? No? Did all of those Harvard grads have to become haberdashers then?

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    • Agree: prole
    • Replies: @CK
    The comic book industry was created by those "excluded" folks to name one industry.
    , @Jack D
    And by 1933 it was half of that, and much less at Yale and Princeton.

    Roth loves America DESPITE the discrimination. He lived thru that era (as a boy). He has no reason to lie. America was not Nazi Germany, but discrimination against Jews was real.
  16. @anonymous

    ... were happily at home in America, even though they had no delusions and knew themselves to be socially stigmatized and regarded as repellent alien outsiders by any number of their anointed betters, ...
     
    Join the club.

    As it pertains to his parents, it’s a bunch of bollocks anyways.

    Read More
  17. @JohnnyD
    ,
    I didn't like Portnoy's Complaint either. But some of Roth's other works, like American Pastoral and Goodbye Columbus, are really good. Roth is interesting to read because his depictions of American Jewish life are often critical and negative.

    I found Goodbye Columbus boring, depressing and meaningless. Did I miss something?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    It has its moments, especially if you grew up near Newark.
    , @Kylie
    I'm guessing you're not a big Mantovani fan.
    , @MBlanc46
    Definitely depressing.
    , @Herzog
    Yes, you did.
  18. How did parents that supposedly harbored such a deep devotion to America produce a son so unrelentingly hostile to the American people?

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  19. Operation Shylock

    “Woody Allen believes that Jews aren’t capable of violence. Woody Allen doesn’t believe that he is reading the papers correctly—he just can’t believe that Jews break bones. Tell us another one, Woody. The first bone they break in defense—to put it charitably; the second in winning; the third gives them pleasure; and the fourth is already a reflex.”

    Excerpt From: Philip Roth. “Operation Shylock.” iBooks.

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  20. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they’re trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they’re lucky, the poor bastards. This looks like the LOA is making a damned hard push to have Roth crowned as the greatest American author ever, thus upending the canon of all those icky WASPs. Either that or Roth has a personal friend on the LOA board.

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=roth&type=volumes

    One thing that’s always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I’m not impressed. There’s something about their genetics that just doesn’t lend itself to thinking up good stories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It's famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    , @syonredux

    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they’re trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they’re lucky, the poor bastards.
     
    Henry James gets 12 ( 5 volumes for the short fiction, 6 for the novels, one for autobiographical writings).

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=Henry+James

    William Faulkner gets 5

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/301-william-faulkner

    Mark Twain gets 8

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/253-mark-twain

    One thing that’s always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I’m not impressed. There’s something about their genetics that just doesn’t lend itself to thinking up good stories.
     
    Dunno. The half-Jewish Proust's achievements are rather impressive.
    , @Lot

    but good fiction writers? No
     
    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here's a list of the world's ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie - English
    William Shakespeare - English
    Barbara Cartland - English
    Danielle Steel - Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins - Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon - Jewish
    Enid Blyton - English
    J. K. Rowling - English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess - German American
    Gilbert Patten - English American

    So 2.5 of the top 10 indicates a lot of ability to write what the public wants to buy. Also on the list are #11 Jackie Collins (half Jewish/half English), #13 R.L. Stine (Midwestern Jewish), #23 Stan and Jan Berenstain (Jewish-American husband and English-American wife, raised their children Jewish).
  21. Is there no end to whiny Jewish intellectuals bemoaning the difficulty they faced being assimilated? WTF? Most faced this problem, yet we don’t complain about it, I have special powers since, although my name is very WASPish, I am not, and I enjoy much fun and frivolity trolling those whiny types… been challenged to many fights, btw.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Can you offer some anecdotes?
    , @Dave Pinsen
    It's probably part of the broader American trend toward victim worship (which began when? With John McCain on crutches?). You'll see similar comments from some young Asian American and NAM writers.
  22. @Astorian
    Naturally, the Midwestern authors Roth champions were men who LOATHED the Midwest and despised their neighbors.

    Sinclair Lewis' work told young Philip Roth, "Yep, the goyim are just as stupid, narrow minded and bigoted as you always suspected." Roth's silly " Plot Against America" was his tribute to Lewis.

    “The old Jews like my grandparents had struggled and died, and their offspring had struggled and prospered, and moved further and further west, towards the edge of Newark, then out of it, and up the slope of the Orange Mountains, until they had reached the crest and started down the other side, pouring into Gentile territory.”

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/philip-roths-newark-15132.html

    Read More
  23. “until they had reached the crest and started down the other side, pouring into Gentile territory.”

    because newark wasn’t gentile enough(1940-1960) what with germans, slavs, italians et al. so asps (anglo-protestants) are next? does phil have country club stories to tell?

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  24. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Anderson may be the most influential and least well known writer of the early part of the 20th Century. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Henry Miller all acknowledged his influence, though Hemingway in typical Hemingway fashion viciously turned on the generous elder writer. Yet he's almost forgotten today. When I was an English major in the late 80s early 90s, Anderson's Winesberg, Ohio was a book we all had to read. In re Roth, funniest part of Portnoy's Complaint is when he talks about his overwhelming lust for Shiksas and his utter contempt for their beliefs, ideas, thoughts etc. Roth! What a guy!

    Here’s part of Oz on Anderson.

    Read More
  25. For those who don’t know, Newark has undergone quite a demographic shift since Roth was a boy.

    Read More
  26. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Anderson may be the most influential and least well known writer of the early part of the 20th Century. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Henry Miller all acknowledged his influence, though Hemingway in typical Hemingway fashion viciously turned on the generous elder writer. Yet he's almost forgotten today. When I was an English major in the late 80s early 90s, Anderson's Winesberg, Ohio was a book we all had to read. In re Roth, funniest part of Portnoy's Complaint is when he talks about his overwhelming lust for Shiksas and his utter contempt for their beliefs, ideas, thoughts etc. Roth! What a guy!

    I had to read that in Lit 1. It was one of the books I enjoyed.

    Read More
  27. @Anon
    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they're trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they're lucky, the poor bastards. This looks like the LOA is making a damned hard push to have Roth crowned as the greatest American author ever, thus upending the canon of all those icky WASPs. Either that or Roth has a personal friend on the LOA board.

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=roth&type=volumes

    One thing that's always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I'm not impressed. There's something about their genetics that just doesn't lend itself to thinking up good stories.

    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It’s famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow’s “The Adventures of Augie March” in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    And Frederick Seidel, who didn't need money at all, went into poetry.

    There's also been the trend of TV going in a more literary direction in the last couple of decades.
    , @whoever
    Perhaps one of the most important Jewish writers for radio in its era of greatest influence was Norman Corwin. I think that in those days, when the average American who was otherwise not in much contact with Jews thought about Jews and Jewish influence on America, he probably thought about things Corwin had encouraged him think about.
    Here is, to my mind, one of his brilliant pieces of United Nations World War II propaganda that is very effectively written and presented, and that may not even seem propaganda unless you think hard about it -- it even manages to mention Palestine. But it's very much worth a listen:
    Corwin Presents "Untitled," Memorial Day, 1944
    , @Anonym
    Maybe so. I am kind of underwhelmed by the list here:

    http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/essential_jewish_fiction

    Maybe there is something actually to this. Most, if not all of my favorite writers (from the aeons ago when I read fiction) are goy. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Michael Ende, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, William Gibson, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Captain WE Johns, Jules Verne (the latter few as a kid). I've read a book by Heinlein and liked it quite a lot. I have read a few of Asimov but I find his characters are too wooden. Even Raymond E Feist, who I thought was Jewish, is actually a Gonzales. I suspect his step-father was Jewish.

    I certainly didn't attempt to seek out goy literature and avoid the Jewish as a kid. Maybe there is something to this. Perhaps in some ways it takes a goy to know a goy and understand the wish fulfilment and flights of fancy he wants to take.

    To really see if it's a case of "goys do it better" versus "Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights", I think you need to have a look at those fields and see if they are overwhelmingly dominated by Jews, or is it fairly representative compared to other fields as you would expect.
    , @Anonymous
    Also there weren't that many fluently English speaking Jewish adults in the 19th and early 20th century. Bellow's parents for example emigrated from Eastern Europe. Bellow's generation was among the first with a solid number of American born and raised Jewish Americans.
    , @Dahlia
    "Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?"

    I'm not a cinema/tv pop culture person *at all*, though the last three nights I watched the last 3/4 of season 1 of "Fargo" with DH.
    Very entertaining, but it annoyed me how utterly transparent the fantasies, feelings... even got a pretty good idea of marital history of the writer(s) were. Isn't this most t.v. and cinema? Has it gotten worse as the newer generations are less self-aware? And isn't this why most people are frustrated, because they only partially identify or not at all with the characters with much being repulsive? Quite the testament to how much people want to unwind with t.v.

    The writing just isn't very good. Prolefeed is incredibly apt. Quadruple for crime writing, which we here have ruminated over at length in the past: the writerly set being dreamers and not street-smart. Bill Buckley. And the "documentaries" being churned out trying to either get someone off (Making a Murderer), or condemn (The Keepers) is so much worse. Dude tortured animals and you didn't think that worth mentioning (MAM)? The second a detective, or anyone with common sense saw that... just pathetic.
    Man I hate t.v.
  28. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Re Phillip Roth. My 91 year old mother’s first read “Portnoy’s Complaint” at age 88- thought well written and very funny , not as funny as Heller’s “Catch 22″ or PG Wodehouse . Mom is lifelong observant traditional Catholic; favorite authors Jack London and Mark Twain. Suggests an additional blessing for the pure of heart is their ability to enjoy true humor in the so called profane.

    Read More
  29. @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It's famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    And Frederick Seidel, who didn’t need money at all, went into poetry.

    There’s also been the trend of TV going in a more literary direction in the last couple of decades.

    Read More
  30. So we’ve gone from Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis to Philip Roth to … Tony Tulathimutte.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/02/tony-tulathimutte-private-citizens-philip-roth-by-heart/463002/

    My brief-but-intense adolescent literary fixation was … Don DeLillo. (I was only 14, so cut me some slack.) My first DeLillo novel was White Noise, which I stumbled upon while working in the school library.

    (Useless White Noise trivia: DeLillo wanted to call the book Panasonic, but the company refused to grant him permission.)

    In the ninth grade, I worked as a library assistant. (It was my sixth-period class – a nice easy-A elective at the end of the day. I never passed up an opportunity to slack off.)

    The librarian, a new transfer, decided that the vertical spacing between the shelves was too wide. She determined that, with the proper adjustments, each case could accommodate one or even two more shelves. She assigned me to the task of moving every single book in the library. I took the books off the shelves, put them on carts, adjusted the shelves to their new positions, and put the books back on the repositioned shelves. It was not a grueling task, and it was not the only project on which I worked, but it was a boring, seemingly-endless chore that was reserved for me alone. I went home every day covered with four decades’ worth of book dust.

    (There was another library assistant, a dainty little girl, but she couldn’t easily handle the heavy oversized books and she couldn’t reach the upper shelves. So I was the designated brawn.)

    Keep in mind that this was a large library by high-school standards. The school had opened in the late ’50s, and many of the books were of that vintage. (This was in the late ’90s.)

    Halfway through the school year, by which time I had moved about half the books in the library, the librarian suddenly decided that she’d miscalculated and that the spacing between the rearranged shelves was now too narrow. She made me start over.

    I never did finish the task before the end of the year – that job was left to my successors. For whatever reason, the librarian blocked off an entire “wing” – a classroom-sized area – of the library, making that area totally inaccessible. She put plastic dividers in front of the shelves and made no effort to relocate the books. Thousands of titles, bought and paid for by the taxpayers, sat unread for years on end. Evidently no one ever missed them.

    Even as an upperclassman, I was something of a library rat. I spent all of my lunch periods there. Having an “in” with the librarian was good for a few perks – among other things, she let me check out non-circulating titles.

    In his high-school years, Philip Roth read Ring Lardner and Erskine Caldwell. I read American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and the collected works of Pauline Kael. Such were the halcyon days of my youth.

    How many self-described novelists do I know? Quite a few. How many *published* novelists do I know? One or two.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero was innovative, entertaining, and came across as authentic. American Psycho, the movie, works on a campy level, thanks in large part to Christian Bale's over-the-top performance, but I put down the novel after a few pages. Ellis shoe-horning exposition into a one-way conversation with a cabbie just seemed like a lame start to a novel, especially after the opening to Less Than Zero.
  31. Somehow, another bit of Americana seems appropriate about now. The Agony of Defeat, from the venerable Wide World of Sports.

    Read More
  32. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Thea
    I found Goodbye Columbus boring, depressing and meaningless. Did I miss something?

    It has its moments, especially if you grew up near Newark.

    Read More
  33. @superman

    the surveillance of religious orthodoxy
     
    They always have to project their animus outwards. Roth hates the oppressive power structure of Orthodox Judaism, but describes it generically as "religious orthodoxy" to encourage the Goyim to shed their own religion.

    describes it generically as “religious orthodoxy” to encourage the Goyim to shed their own religion.

    He might not be conscious about it, it might just be a result of his unwillingness to criticize specifically his own religion in front of a wide outsider audience. He might understand the effect this has on the goyim but just doesn’t care, or even thinks that it’s better if Jews shed their religion, then the goyim shed theirs, too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "his unwillingness to criticize specifically his own religion in front of a wide outsider audience"

    If he did, he'd get labeled self-hating and anti-semitic. Marx got the stigma for "speaking out of school," and saying things they all said about themselves when not in mixed company. (And that was before all the mass murder baggage )
  34. @Stephen lawrence
    Is there no end to whiny Jewish intellectuals bemoaning the difficulty they faced being assimilated? WTF? Most faced this problem, yet we don't complain about it, I have special powers since, although my name is very WASPish, I am not, and I enjoy much fun and frivolity trolling those whiny types... been challenged to many fights, btw.

    Can you offer some anecdotes?

    Read More
  35. @Stan Adams
    So we've gone from Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis to Philip Roth to ... Tony Tulathimutte.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/02/tony-tulathimutte-private-citizens-philip-roth-by-heart/463002/

    My brief-but-intense adolescent literary fixation was ... Don DeLillo. (I was only 14, so cut me some slack.) My first DeLillo novel was White Noise, which I stumbled upon while working in the school library.

    (Useless White Noise trivia: DeLillo wanted to call the book Panasonic, but the company refused to grant him permission.)

    In the ninth grade, I worked as a library assistant. (It was my sixth-period class - a nice easy-A elective at the end of the day. I never passed up an opportunity to slack off.)

    The librarian, a new transfer, decided that the vertical spacing between the shelves was too wide. She determined that, with the proper adjustments, each case could accommodate one or even two more shelves. She assigned me to the task of moving every single book in the library. I took the books off the shelves, put them on carts, adjusted the shelves to their new positions, and put the books back on the repositioned shelves. It was not a grueling task, and it was not the only project on which I worked, but it was a boring, seemingly-endless chore that was reserved for me alone. I went home every day covered with four decades' worth of book dust.

    (There was another library assistant, a dainty little girl, but she couldn't easily handle the heavy oversized books and she couldn't reach the upper shelves. So I was the designated brawn.)

    Keep in mind that this was a large library by high-school standards. The school had opened in the late '50s, and many of the books were of that vintage. (This was in the late '90s.)

    Halfway through the school year, by which time I had moved about half the books in the library, the librarian suddenly decided that she'd miscalculated and that the spacing between the rearranged shelves was now too narrow. She made me start over.

    I never did finish the task before the end of the year - that job was left to my successors. For whatever reason, the librarian blocked off an entire "wing" - a classroom-sized area - of the library, making that area totally inaccessible. She put plastic dividers in front of the shelves and made no effort to relocate the books. Thousands of titles, bought and paid for by the taxpayers, sat unread for years on end. Evidently no one ever missed them.

    Even as an upperclassman, I was something of a library rat. I spent all of my lunch periods there. Having an "in" with the librarian was good for a few perks - among other things, she let me check out non-circulating titles.

    In his high-school years, Philip Roth read Ring Lardner and Erskine Caldwell. I read American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and the collected works of Pauline Kael. Such were the halcyon days of my youth.

    How many self-described novelists do I know? Quite a few. How many *published* novelists do I know? One or two.

    Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero was innovative, entertaining, and came across as authentic. American Psycho, the movie, works on a campy level, thanks in large part to Christian Bale’s over-the-top performance, but I put down the novel after a few pages. Ellis shoe-horning exposition into a one-way conversation with a cabbie just seemed like a lame start to a novel, especially after the opening to Less Than Zero.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    Less Than Zero is a better book, yes. I didn't read it until I was in college.

    I read Psycho after seeing the movie in the theater, during my ... junior year of high school. It didn't make that strong an impression on me - I was reading a lot of weird stuff around that time.

    During the controversy over American Psycho's publication, Spy magazine sent excerpts of the novel (under a pseudonym) to S&M publications. Not one accepted the submission:
    https://tinyurl.com/y9vrtuwy
    , @Mika-Non
    American Psycho is indeed an interesting case. Ellis made the novel deliberately revolting, and I daresay deliberately stupid, in much the same way that Pasolini made Salò completely nauseating. They want you to associate the nausea with their characters, to show you just how bad bad can be.

    Though in Pasolini's case, I came to the conclusion that it had to be Pasolini himself who was nauseating; in the case of American Psycho an entertaining, humorous movie version was created thanks to a clever director (Mary Harron), in full control of her message and yes, Bale sinking his teeth into the role.

  36. @Stephen lawrence
    Is there no end to whiny Jewish intellectuals bemoaning the difficulty they faced being assimilated? WTF? Most faced this problem, yet we don't complain about it, I have special powers since, although my name is very WASPish, I am not, and I enjoy much fun and frivolity trolling those whiny types... been challenged to many fights, btw.

    It’s probably part of the broader American trend toward victim worship (which began when? With John McCain on crutches?). You’ll see similar comments from some young Asian American and NAM writers.

    Read More
  37. @nebulafox
    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy's Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    (If you want a book that does the latter well, go with Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground. If you want the former, well, rule 34.)

    It can be useful and interesting from a theory of mind perspective to at least be aware of such works. Especially if the writer is narratively honest enough to have illuminating “insight.” Of course, one shouldn’t extrapolate broadly from just one work or one voice—this is why unbiased pattern recognition and recurrent noticing are invaluable to greater understanding.

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  38. @Dave Pinsen
    Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero was innovative, entertaining, and came across as authentic. American Psycho, the movie, works on a campy level, thanks in large part to Christian Bale's over-the-top performance, but I put down the novel after a few pages. Ellis shoe-horning exposition into a one-way conversation with a cabbie just seemed like a lame start to a novel, especially after the opening to Less Than Zero.

    Less Than Zero is a better book, yes. I didn’t read it until I was in college.

    I read Psycho after seeing the movie in the theater, during my … junior year of high school. It didn’t make that strong an impression on me – I was reading a lot of weird stuff around that time.

    During the controversy over American Psycho‘s publication, Spy magazine sent excerpts of the novel (under a pseudonym) to S&M publications. Not one accepted the submission:

    https://tinyurl.com/y9vrtuwy

    Read More
  39. @Dave Pinsen
    Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero was innovative, entertaining, and came across as authentic. American Psycho, the movie, works on a campy level, thanks in large part to Christian Bale's over-the-top performance, but I put down the novel after a few pages. Ellis shoe-horning exposition into a one-way conversation with a cabbie just seemed like a lame start to a novel, especially after the opening to Less Than Zero.

    American Psycho is indeed an interesting case. Ellis made the novel deliberately revolting, and I daresay deliberately stupid, in much the same way that Pasolini made Salò completely nauseating. They want you to associate the nausea with their characters, to show you just how bad bad can be.

    Though in Pasolini’s case, I came to the conclusion that it had to be Pasolini himself who was nauseating; in the case of American Psycho an entertaining, humorous movie version was created thanks to a clever director (Mary Harron), in full control of her message and yes, Bale sinking his teeth into the role.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pericles
    A lot of Salo now would seem like gay utopia, though they are more extreme these days. Yet Wikipedia and something called the "LGBT Encyclopedia" blandly state:

    While openly gay from the very start of his career (thanks to a gay sex scandal that sent him packing from his provincial hometown to live and work in Rome), Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies.

     

    Sure, if you except the vile gay porn pushed in the viewer's face, that is. (And Pasolini being a pederast.)

    Pasolini was gruesomely murdered in 1975, possibly by an underage rent boy. If so, a fitting end.
    , @guest
    "They want to associate the nausea with their characters, to show you just how bad bad can be"

    That's a perfect example of one of the great crimes of modernism. They confuse effects with means. Being disgusted by a book is not the same thing as telling a story that rightly disgusts people. You can achieve the same effect by using all the old narrative conventions.

    I haven't read American Psycho, but I have read books that work like what you describe, and I call it cheap. It's a shortcut. It's like the difference between luring someone into a trap and a suckerpunch.
  40. @nebulafox
    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy's Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    (If you want a book that does the latter well, go with Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground. If you want the former, well, rule 34.)

    Heller was better. His “Something Happened” is a tremendously underrated work of brilliant cynicism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    I tried to read "Catch 22" but got bogged down about a third the way through. Nothing was happening and I couldn't care about the characters. It didn't seem like the author cared about his characters. And the cursing just made it harder to read. My husband claimed it was beloved by his peers in the 60's, but I doubt too many of them read it all the way through. Probably they were having fun being cynical about the "establishment", whatever that meant.
  41. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    A possibly apocryphal story concerns Philip Roth shaking hands with an unwitting Hollywood starlet at an awards Ceremony.
    Apparently, the actress didn’t recognise the author of Portnoy’s Complaint. After a companion informed her that of the identity of the stranger who just shook her hand, her immortal words were ‘…..Gee, I hope he washed them…’.

    Read More
  42. @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It's famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    Perhaps one of the most important Jewish writers for radio in its era of greatest influence was Norman Corwin. I think that in those days, when the average American who was otherwise not in much contact with Jews thought about Jews and Jewish influence on America, he probably thought about things Corwin had encouraged him think about.
    Here is, to my mind, one of his brilliant pieces of United Nations World War II propaganda that is very effectively written and presented, and that may not even seem propaganda unless you think hard about it — it even manages to mention Palestine. But it’s very much worth a listen:
    Corwin Presents “Untitled,” Memorial Day, 1944

    Read More
  43. @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It's famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    Maybe so. I am kind of underwhelmed by the list here:

    http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/essential_jewish_fiction

    Maybe there is something actually to this. Most, if not all of my favorite writers (from the aeons ago when I read fiction) are goy. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Michael Ende, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, William Gibson, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Captain WE Johns, Jules Verne (the latter few as a kid). I’ve read a book by Heinlein and liked it quite a lot. I have read a few of Asimov but I find his characters are too wooden. Even Raymond E Feist, who I thought was Jewish, is actually a Gonzales. I suspect his step-father was Jewish.

    I certainly didn’t attempt to seek out goy literature and avoid the Jewish as a kid. Maybe there is something to this. Perhaps in some ways it takes a goy to know a goy and understand the wish fulfilment and flights of fancy he wants to take.

    To really see if it’s a case of “goys do it better” versus “Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights”, I think you need to have a look at those fields and see if they are overwhelmingly dominated by Jews, or is it fairly representative compared to other fields as you would expect.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Re that list:

    - The HBO production of Angels in America was good. The ending is a bit weak, but Kushner can write dialog (and is an example of a Jew lured by more commercial ventures -- he's also a screenwriter). It's probably up there with the most notable plays of the 20th Century.

    - Re Isaac Singer: his novel Shosha (not mentioned on the list) was pretty good.

    - Kavelier & Clay was a good novel, but if it's "the 50 most essential" that's not a high compliment on the rest. Arguably, Neal Gaiman's American Gods (not on the list) is more influential, as it's spawned a well-reviewed and entertaining TV series.

    - Everything Is Illuminated was complete garbage, and benefited (as did the rest of Foer's career) from the advocacy of his journalist brother and Joyce Carol Oates, who taught him at Princeton.

    - Seize The Day was cited by the Nobel committee. I read it and could not understand why at all.
    , @Lot
    I only read two of those, Catcher in the Rye and Death of a Salesman. They were both moderately entertaining, and I read them in one sitting, but nothing special.

    Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights
     
    Jews are a large share of both, especially TV writers. Have a look at this list which shows a large number of top TV writers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_Emmy_Award_for_Outstanding_Writing_for_a_Comedy_Series
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_Emmy_Award_for_Outstanding_Writing_for_a_Drama_Series

    If you click on the non-Jewish names, a lot of them will end up something like this:

    Damon Lindelof ... His mother is Jewish and his father was of Scandinavian descent.
     
    Playwrights don't make money, the big money in theater is musicals.
    , @Hairway To Steven
    You've got some awful f***ing taste, chief.

    As for Roth, he's brilliant and funny, and there's been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?

  44. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Anderson may be the most influential and least well known writer of the early part of the 20th Century. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Henry Miller all acknowledged his influence, though Hemingway in typical Hemingway fashion viciously turned on the generous elder writer. Yet he's almost forgotten today. When I was an English major in the late 80s early 90s, Anderson's Winesberg, Ohio was a book we all had to read. In re Roth, funniest part of Portnoy's Complaint is when he talks about his overwhelming lust for Shiksas and his utter contempt for their beliefs, ideas, thoughts etc. Roth! What a guy!

    I remember reading excerpts in high school.

    That is all I remember about it.

    In contrast to, say, Chekhov, who changed the way I looked at the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    See the tweet I posted above. Amos Oz draws a connection between Anderson and Chekhov.
  45. @Astorian
    Naturally, the Midwestern authors Roth champions were men who LOATHED the Midwest and despised their neighbors.

    Sinclair Lewis' work told young Philip Roth, "Yep, the goyim are just as stupid, narrow minded and bigoted as you always suspected." Roth's silly " Plot Against America" was his tribute to Lewis.

    Sinclair Lewis had more of a love-hate relationship with the Midwest.And that kind of back-and-forth is conducive to good writing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    He was enough of a great artist to "flip the script" occasionally and make the big city folks look like the bumpkins or the provincial look sophisticated. But it wasn't any kind of even back-and-forth. There's no doubting which side he was on, and he wasn't with small-town America or the mid-west as a whole. He wasn't with reactionaries of any sort, whoever they may be.
  46. @Anon
    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they're trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they're lucky, the poor bastards. This looks like the LOA is making a damned hard push to have Roth crowned as the greatest American author ever, thus upending the canon of all those icky WASPs. Either that or Roth has a personal friend on the LOA board.

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=roth&type=volumes

    One thing that's always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I'm not impressed. There's something about their genetics that just doesn't lend itself to thinking up good stories.

    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they’re trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they’re lucky, the poor bastards.

    Henry James gets 12 ( 5 volumes for the short fiction, 6 for the novels, one for autobiographical writings).

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=Henry+James

    William Faulkner gets 5

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/301-william-faulkner

    Mark Twain gets 8

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/253-mark-twain

    One thing that’s always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I’m not impressed. There’s something about their genetics that just doesn’t lend itself to thinking up good stories.

    Dunno. The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @James Richard

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.
     
    How so? I find him boring as hell.
    , @guest
    "Proust's achievements are rather impressive"

    It is impressive to trick people into reading seven volumes of run-on sentences with all the normal narrative devices buried, if they're present at all. Also, with no order discernable to anyone but people who make a living studying French literature. Or a living promoting modernism to the unenlightened.
  47. Roth is the most over rated writer in America. Maybe it has something to do with the ethnicity of those doing the rating.

    Read More
  48. @Anonym
    Maybe so. I am kind of underwhelmed by the list here:

    http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/essential_jewish_fiction

    Maybe there is something actually to this. Most, if not all of my favorite writers (from the aeons ago when I read fiction) are goy. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Michael Ende, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, William Gibson, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Captain WE Johns, Jules Verne (the latter few as a kid). I've read a book by Heinlein and liked it quite a lot. I have read a few of Asimov but I find his characters are too wooden. Even Raymond E Feist, who I thought was Jewish, is actually a Gonzales. I suspect his step-father was Jewish.

    I certainly didn't attempt to seek out goy literature and avoid the Jewish as a kid. Maybe there is something to this. Perhaps in some ways it takes a goy to know a goy and understand the wish fulfilment and flights of fancy he wants to take.

    To really see if it's a case of "goys do it better" versus "Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights", I think you need to have a look at those fields and see if they are overwhelmingly dominated by Jews, or is it fairly representative compared to other fields as you would expect.

    Re that list:

    – The HBO production of Angels in America was good. The ending is a bit weak, but Kushner can write dialog (and is an example of a Jew lured by more commercial ventures — he’s also a screenwriter). It’s probably up there with the most notable plays of the 20th Century.

    – Re Isaac Singer: his novel Shosha (not mentioned on the list) was pretty good.

    – Kavelier & Clay was a good novel, but if it’s “the 50 most essential” that’s not a high compliment on the rest. Arguably, Neal Gaiman’s American Gods (not on the list) is more influential, as it’s spawned a well-reviewed and entertaining TV series.

    – Everything Is Illuminated was complete garbage, and benefited (as did the rest of Foer’s career) from the advocacy of his journalist brother and Joyce Carol Oates, who taught him at Princeton.

    – Seize The Day was cited by the Nobel committee. I read it and could not understand why at all.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    – Kavelier & Clay was a good novel, but if it’s “the 50 most essential” that’s not a high compliment on the rest. Arguably, Neal Gaiman’s American Gods (not on the list) is more influential, as it’s spawned a well-reviewed and entertaining TV series.
     
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is much better written than American Gods. And the TV adaptation of American Gods is chiefly interesting for what it reveals about the SJW worldview.
    , @guest
    Seize the Day is overrated because it is shorter Bellow, and the premier complaint about Bellow is that people don't like his longer novels. Except Auggie March, which gets special dispensation. It also features what I think is a powerful father/son climax.

    But it's also an example of what is my most hated literary convention: the epiphany. And in this case, I have no idea what the heck the epiphany is about, unless it relates to the title. But that's just a guess. It's not there in the text, except by hint. I hate that.

    But I love Bellow, overall. It's a sort of irrational love, because I despise a lot of what he stands for.
  49. @Desiderius
    I remember reading excerpts in high school.

    That is all I remember about it.

    In contrast to, say, Chekhov, who changed the way I looked at the world.

    See the tweet I posted above. Amos Oz draws a connection between Anderson and Chekhov.

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  50. @Mika-Non
    American Psycho is indeed an interesting case. Ellis made the novel deliberately revolting, and I daresay deliberately stupid, in much the same way that Pasolini made Salò completely nauseating. They want you to associate the nausea with their characters, to show you just how bad bad can be.

    Though in Pasolini's case, I came to the conclusion that it had to be Pasolini himself who was nauseating; in the case of American Psycho an entertaining, humorous movie version was created thanks to a clever director (Mary Harron), in full control of her message and yes, Bale sinking his teeth into the role.

    A lot of Salo now would seem like gay utopia, though they are more extreme these days. Yet Wikipedia and something called the “LGBT Encyclopedia” blandly state:

    While openly gay from the very start of his career (thanks to a gay sex scandal that sent him packing from his provincial hometown to live and work in Rome), Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies.

    Sure, if you except the vile gay porn pushed in the viewer’s face, that is. (And Pasolini being a pederast.)

    Pasolini was gruesomely murdered in 1975, possibly by an underage rent boy. If so, a fitting end.

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  51. @Dave Pinsen
    Re that list:

    - The HBO production of Angels in America was good. The ending is a bit weak, but Kushner can write dialog (and is an example of a Jew lured by more commercial ventures -- he's also a screenwriter). It's probably up there with the most notable plays of the 20th Century.

    - Re Isaac Singer: his novel Shosha (not mentioned on the list) was pretty good.

    - Kavelier & Clay was a good novel, but if it's "the 50 most essential" that's not a high compliment on the rest. Arguably, Neal Gaiman's American Gods (not on the list) is more influential, as it's spawned a well-reviewed and entertaining TV series.

    - Everything Is Illuminated was complete garbage, and benefited (as did the rest of Foer's career) from the advocacy of his journalist brother and Joyce Carol Oates, who taught him at Princeton.

    - Seize The Day was cited by the Nobel committee. I read it and could not understand why at all.

    – Kavelier & Clay was a good novel, but if it’s “the 50 most essential” that’s not a high compliment on the rest. Arguably, Neal Gaiman’s American Gods (not on the list) is more influential, as it’s spawned a well-reviewed and entertaining TV series.

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is much better written than American Gods. And the TV adaptation of American Gods is chiefly interesting for what it reveals about the SJW worldview.

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  52. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It's famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    Also there weren’t that many fluently English speaking Jewish adults in the 19th and early 20th century. Bellow’s parents for example emigrated from Eastern Europe. Bellow’s generation was among the first with a solid number of American born and raised Jewish Americans.

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  53. Oh, what an idyllic working class enclave that is unquestioningly depicted in the City Journal article. Don’t you just itch to blockbust that nest of xenophobia wide open to the fresh winds of diversity?

    Alas, no mention of the Third Ward, Puddy Hinkes (a nice Jewish boy), Longy Zwillman or the Shvitz. They apparently appear in Patrimony.

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  54. @Anon
    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they're trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they're lucky, the poor bastards. This looks like the LOA is making a damned hard push to have Roth crowned as the greatest American author ever, thus upending the canon of all those icky WASPs. Either that or Roth has a personal friend on the LOA board.

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=roth&type=volumes

    One thing that's always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I'm not impressed. There's something about their genetics that just doesn't lend itself to thinking up good stories.

    but good fiction writers? No

    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here’s a list of the world’s ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie – English
    William Shakespeare – English
    Barbara Cartland – English
    Danielle Steel – Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins – Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon – Jewish
    Enid Blyton – English
    J. K. Rowling – English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess – German American
    Gilbert Patten – English American

    So 2.5 of the top 10 indicates a lot of ability to write what the public wants to buy. Also on the list are #11 Jackie Collins (half Jewish/half English), #13 R.L. Stine (Midwestern Jewish), #23 Stan and Jan Berenstain (Jewish-American husband and English-American wife, raised their children Jewish).

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here’s a list of the world’s ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie – English
    William Shakespeare – English
    Barbara Cartland – English
    Danielle Steel – Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins – Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon – Jewish
    Enid Blyton – English
    J. K. Rowling – English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess – German American
    Gilbert Patten – English American
     
    Yeesh. Subtract Shakespeare and the two kid-lit authors, and that is one depressing list. Even Christie pales when compared to serious detective lit writers like Hammett and Chandler.
    , @peterike

    Danielle Steel – Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins – Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon – Jewish
     
    Ahh yes, classic Jewish "literature" -- selling smut to the masses.

    What did Basil Fawlty call Harold Robbins? Oh yeah, "a kind of pornographic muzak."
    , @Dumbo
    Best-selling certainly does not mean quality. Shakespeare and (maybe) Agatha Christie are the only ones worth reading if you're no longer a teenager.
  55. I began to turn to the open stacks of the Newark Public Library to enlarge my sense of where I lived.

    Kids don’t do that any more.

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  56. @Anonym
    Maybe so. I am kind of underwhelmed by the list here:

    http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/essential_jewish_fiction

    Maybe there is something actually to this. Most, if not all of my favorite writers (from the aeons ago when I read fiction) are goy. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Michael Ende, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, William Gibson, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Captain WE Johns, Jules Verne (the latter few as a kid). I've read a book by Heinlein and liked it quite a lot. I have read a few of Asimov but I find his characters are too wooden. Even Raymond E Feist, who I thought was Jewish, is actually a Gonzales. I suspect his step-father was Jewish.

    I certainly didn't attempt to seek out goy literature and avoid the Jewish as a kid. Maybe there is something to this. Perhaps in some ways it takes a goy to know a goy and understand the wish fulfilment and flights of fancy he wants to take.

    To really see if it's a case of "goys do it better" versus "Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights", I think you need to have a look at those fields and see if they are overwhelmingly dominated by Jews, or is it fairly representative compared to other fields as you would expect.

    I only read two of those, Catcher in the Rye and Death of a Salesman. They were both moderately entertaining, and I read them in one sitting, but nothing special.

    Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights

    Jews are a large share of both, especially TV writers. Have a look at this list which shows a large number of top TV writers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_Emmy_Award_for_Outstanding_Writing_for_a_Comedy_Series

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_Emmy_Award_for_Outstanding_Writing_for_a_Drama_Series

    If you click on the non-Jewish names, a lot of them will end up something like this:

    Damon Lindelof … His mother is Jewish and his father was of Scandinavian descent.

    Playwrights don’t make money, the big money in theater is musicals.

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  57. @nebulafox
    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy's Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    (If you want a book that does the latter well, go with Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground. If you want the former, well, rule 34.)

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.

    Unfortunately, that does explain his “appeal.” Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth’s works appealed to them, as he was a “voice” of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary “great” author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the “Generation Gap”/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy’s Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn’t aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he “gets” them.

    Much of Roth’s work is really insular to Jews, and it’s rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn’t find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth’s work doesn’t even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he’s talking about as he writes. Since that’s the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn’t resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it’s assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it’s going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you’re ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham’s depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary “great” author.
     
    Something similar has gone on with the visual arts as well. Utter garbage produced by untalented fools gets the press and is branded cool, hip, and sophisticated, and is shoved down our throats and in our faces 24/7.

    Stuff that's not even worth composting is accepted as "great" and may be a result of this...


    ...but the overtaking of the farm and the farmer’s indigenous village values by the pervasive business culture and its profit-oriented pursuits.
     
    Grade inflation, modern day concepts of heroism, and junk science are other examples.

    We are a society of anti-standards, conscious degradation and fantasyville, yet we keep searching and hoping for some savior, as if we're entitled to one.

    Good luck with that!

    , @Malcolm X-Lax
    I would add to this, the case of Lenny Bruce. I never understood his status until I understood how Jews regard themselves vis-a-via the goyim. Watch videos of Bruce. He wasn't funny, not in the way, say, similar lefty Jewish comics of the era were--e.g. Mort Sahl, Jackie Mason. What he was, was a Jewish martyr. What Jews (and their subordinate goys who mimic them) love about him is his subversiveness. To paraphrase Malcolm X, telling the WASP, and his Institutions, to his face just what he thinks of him and his hypocritical 1950s American values. This made him a hero to similarly adverse, highly self-identified Jews like Woody Allen and Howard Stern. Norman Mailer whose writing I do admire, was similar. He sent a copy of The White Negro to William Faulkner and Faulkner told him he needed to see a psychiatrist. Not coincidentally, Bruce, Mailer, Stern and Allen were all sexual degenerates very much into degrading the shiksa!
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    "Goodbye, Columbus" makes a lot more sense if you read it as someone who throws away a relationship with a beautiful woman from a prosperous family--a family that welcomes him, instead of rejecting him as an outsider--because it wouldn't allow him to feel like a victim anymore.

    See the movie. Ali MacGraw's Brenda may be spoiled, but she genuinely cares about him and he could influence her if he took the trouble. What he's really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    I haven't read any Roth, but a German immigrant venture capitalist I know has spoken highly of American Pastoral. So I don't think its appeal is limited to Jews.
    , @Anonym
    A point that I often make is that the soundtrack can often make the difference between a good movie and a classic, yet few pick up on it. The Graduate features several of the best Simon and Garfunkel songs. Without that it would not be as highly rated.

    Music is hardwired to emotion, and crosses the languagr barrier. Why would it not be the key to provoking the correct emotional response... what a movie does?
  58. @Mika-Non

    an America that, until the decades following the Second World War, systematically excluded Jews from much of its institutional and corporate life.
     
    Oh yeah, that one again. Which stat to pull out now? Well, since we've been talking about colleges so much lately, how about (Jewish scholar) Jerome Karabel's finding in "The Chosen" (p.105) that Harvard's Jewish population was around 30% in 1925? What institution more perfectly represents the pinnacle of Establishment exclusivity than Harvard University (especially back then--and the other top schools show similar figures)? Is this 30% figure even remotely proportional to their representation in the general population? Even within an order of magnitude? No? Did all of those Harvard grads have to become haberdashers then?

    The comic book industry was created by those “excluded” folks to name one industry.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    I read Watchmen and thought it brilliant. Alan Moore appears to be English and found success in that most Jewish of things, the comic book.
  59. I have to laugh at whoever said Jews aren’t good at writing fiction. They punch so far above their weight that it’s not funny. Heller, Bellow, Roth, Salinger, Potok, Wiesel. Popular writers like Asimov, Ephron, Sendak, and Maria Doria Russell. Name me a genre and I can find you a zillion successful writers.

    Compare their output to Mormons, and see what you get.

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    • Replies: @Jim Daniel
    You could also throw in highbrows like Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer and Paul Auster if you like, plus more popular writers like William Goldman, Ira Levin, Leon Uris, Herman Wouk, and Irwin Shaw. In science fiction I particularly liked Alfred Bester, but there are loads of others. Lots of great children's books, too; The Giving Tree is a heartbreaker.
    , @Formerly CARealist
    Let's see from your list what I've read:

    Heller-Catch 22. boring, profane, meaningless. Didn't finish it
    Bellow-Mr. Sammler's Planet. boring, gross, odd, gross, occasionally intriguing
    Salinger-The Catcher in the Rye. boring, disgusting, foul-mouthed, meaningless


    I haven't read anything by the other authors. Should I?
    , @Dave Pinsen
    The one Mormon who comes to mind is Orson Scott Card, best known for Ender's Game. His follow up, Speaker for the Dead, was quite good, and more adult.
    , @Gross Terry
    "serious fiction" jewish writers write derivative works of better, more dangerous thinkers and radical stylists.
    "science fiction" jewish writers are roughly on par with Mormons in terms of quality/quantity.
  60. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Upton Sinclair seems a logical choice for Roth. He was very down on Middle America and its parochial smallness, much like many Jewish writers.

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    • Replies: @guest
    Sinclair Lewis, not Upton Sinclair. But the rest of your post applies, anyway.
  61. “Sabbaths Theater” is one of the funniest books ever written, and the masterpiece “My Life As A Man” is highly neglected by all men’s rights activists, nuevo-misogynists and pilleaters. It’s a primal scream of rage, well leavened with jewish ambiguity, guilt and shame.

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  62. @bored identity



    "...America that, until the decades following the Second World War, systematically excluded Jews from much of its institutional and corporate life...."
    

     

    It's always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition.

    “It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition.”

    Not a fake memory at all. Corperations, 3 letter companies, the phone company, Con Edison, white-shoe law firms, before 1945 did not hire jews. I grew up in those years and that fact was widely known. Resorts did not admit jewish guests, giving rise to the jewish resorts in the Catskills. Real-estate convenants barring sales to jews were legal. Also hard to get into medical schools which had a quota system strictly limiting jews for admission (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians). Descrimination against jews decreased radically after WW II which I imagine was connected somehow to the revelation of Nazi crimes.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    It is almost never mentioned that Jews engaged in (and continue to engage in) exclusion of Gentiles. Does Jewish exclusivm and discrimination against Gentiles justify a certain wariness on the part of Gentiles?
    , @Jack D
    Very well said. The discrimination, BTW, was not only at the C-suite level. My MIL was able to get a job as a draftsman (draftsperson? draftswoman?) at Yale & Towne during WWII in Philadelphia only because the Federal government (even then) had non-discrimination requirements in their defense contracts (she also remembers being pestered to sign up Jewish friends and relatives for jobs so they could meet their targets). Before the war, she could not have dreamed of being hired there as Jew. My late FIL was in engineering at Drexel and he was advised not to do chemical engineering because none of the Philadelphia chemical companies (Rohm & Haas, etc. - the Germans once upon a time dominated chemistry - R&H's first product BTW was synthetic dog shit - I kid you not) would hire Jews.

    The real estate covenants were an attempt at an end run around the law. Even under 19th century jurisprudence, it was clear that local governments could not pass ordinances excluding people by religion. The thought was that since deed covenants were "private" there was no state action, but of course there is - the covenants have to be enforced by the government or they are meaningless and eventually the Supreme Court ruled them illegal as well.

    Somehow a lot of commenters here (and not excluding Steve) seem to think that just because they didn't put Jews in America in concentration camps that Jews were never victims of racism. Jews in America were able to do well in sort of "separate but equal" regime (much better than blacks because they are much smarter than blacks) but separate but equal was still a form of segregation that was entirely outside the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. Frankly, the Jews of America would, in some ways, be better off if this system had continued (for one thing there wouldn't be a 70% intermarriage rate which is going to lead to the extinction of all but Orthodox Jews in a couple of generations) but it was morally wrong, and, as you say, once the horrors of the Nazis became known, it was morally indefensible and eventually legally indefensible as well. A lot of commenters also can't seem to understand why Jews seem to identify with blacks and civil rights, given their divergent economic interests and differences in intelligence and achievement (and the fact that a lot of blacks don't particularly like Jews) but once you understand that Jews and blacks were once (to some extent) in the same boat vis a vis the WASPs then it makes sense.

    It should be said that this was all a long time ago - most of this stuff was made illegal by the '64 Civil Rights Act and even before that, had been fading since WWII and by the '70s all that was left were a few snooty clubs that nobody cares about. But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.
    , @scrivener3
    people of polish ancestry, slaves, Laps, Hungarians, Yugoslavians, Italians (sometimes collectively called Displaced Persons or DP's) were also excluded from many of the tonier institutions in America. That has pretty much disappeared now, but we could always dwell on it endlessly.
    , @bored identity
    100% Fake Personal Memory.

    100% Tribal Collaborative.

    Roth's father spent decades working as a legalized Ponzi-salesman for MLIC, in bored identity's book definitely a 4 Letter company, nowadays better known as MetLife,Inc..



    Pre-WWII Corperations Don't Hire Jews.
    MLIC is Pre-WWII Corperation.
    MLIC Doesn't Hire Jews.
    Herman Roth Was Hired by Pre-WWII MLIC.
    Herman Roth Was Jewish.
    Herman Roth Wasn't Jewish.

    Oh,sh*t; let me try this again....

    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians)

     

    Corrected:
    "(like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of non-Jewish Whites)
  63. @whorefinder

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.
     
    Unfortunately, that does explain his "appeal." Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth's works appealed to them, as he was a "voice" of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary "great" author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the "Generation Gap"/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy's Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn't aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he "gets" them.

    Much of Roth's work is really insular to Jews, and it's rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn't find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth's work doesn't even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he's talking about as he writes. Since that's the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn't resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it's assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it's going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you're ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham's depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

    They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary “great” author.

    Something similar has gone on with the visual arts as well. Utter garbage produced by untalented fools gets the press and is branded cool, hip, and sophisticated, and is shoved down our throats and in our faces 24/7.

    Stuff that’s not even worth composting is accepted as “great” and may be a result of this…

    …but the overtaking of the farm and the farmer’s indigenous village values by the pervasive business culture and its profit-oriented pursuits.

    Grade inflation, modern day concepts of heroism, and junk science are other examples.

    We are a society of anti-standards, conscious degradation and fantasyville, yet we keep searching and hoping for some savior, as if we’re entitled to one.

    Good luck with that!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Re visual arts: a perfect example is the "Snapshot" feature in the FT's Life & Arts section, which shows some piece of garbage contemporary art every week.
    , @Dumbo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUhpixE4zZ4
  64. @KM32
    I have to laugh at whoever said Jews aren't good at writing fiction. They punch so far above their weight that it's not funny. Heller, Bellow, Roth, Salinger, Potok, Wiesel. Popular writers like Asimov, Ephron, Sendak, and Maria Doria Russell. Name me a genre and I can find you a zillion successful writers.

    Compare their output to Mormons, and see what you get.

    You could also throw in highbrows like Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer and Paul Auster if you like, plus more popular writers like William Goldman, Ira Levin, Leon Uris, Herman Wouk, and Irwin Shaw. In science fiction I particularly liked Alfred Bester, but there are loads of others. Lots of great children’s books, too; The Giving Tree is a heartbreaker.

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    • Replies: @Weltanschauung
    The Giving Tree gave me the creeps, but do read it if you can get it at the public library. It encapsulates the social and economic program of our current ruling class.
  65. @Mika-Non

    an America that, until the decades following the Second World War, systematically excluded Jews from much of its institutional and corporate life.
     
    Oh yeah, that one again. Which stat to pull out now? Well, since we've been talking about colleges so much lately, how about (Jewish scholar) Jerome Karabel's finding in "The Chosen" (p.105) that Harvard's Jewish population was around 30% in 1925? What institution more perfectly represents the pinnacle of Establishment exclusivity than Harvard University (especially back then--and the other top schools show similar figures)? Is this 30% figure even remotely proportional to their representation in the general population? Even within an order of magnitude? No? Did all of those Harvard grads have to become haberdashers then?

    And by 1933 it was half of that, and much less at Yale and Princeton.

    Roth loves America DESPITE the discrimination. He lived thru that era (as a boy). He has no reason to lie. America was not Nazi Germany, but discrimination against Jews was real.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    And by 1933 it was half of that, and much less at Yale and Princeton.

    Roth loves America DESPITE the discrimination. He lived thru that era (as a boy). He has no reason to lie. America was not Nazi Germany, but discrimination against Jews was real.

    Jews, even as relative newcomers, were still given access to American institutions at many multiples of their proportion of the American population. That should be cause for gratitude on their part. That they feel they nonetheless have grounds for resentment against Americans is worrisome.

  66. Philip Roth is an annoying Jew who nastily attacked the great English/Swedish American Charles Lindbergh. Philip Roth’s gratuitous attacks on Lindbergh are grotesque and ugly, which is fitting because Philip Roth is ugly and grotesque. Got to hell, Roth, you vile bastard.

    A. Scott Berg, a Jewish writer, made a big splash with his fair-minded 1998 biography of Charles Lindbergh. Berg’s book on Lindbergh stands as a rebuke to Roth.

    Attention Philip Roth: the European Christian ancestral core of the United States sees you as an interloper of the worst sort. If you don’t like the United States, Roth, get the hell out, and don’t slink off to another European Christian nation-state. How about Uganda, Roth?

    Philip Roth is a putrid rodent incapable of fair-mindedness nor gratitude to the United States. The age of the Jew as the arbiter of judgement on American history and the United States is over.

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    • Replies: @Jake
    "The age of the Jew as the arbiter of judgement on American history and the United States is over."

    You can dream, but telling such hilarious lies helps no one. WASP culture is and always has been strongly pro-Jewish. At the same time he saw at least 80% of whites native to the British Isles as inherently inferior, Cromwell invited the Jews back to England.

    WASP Elites have facilitated the rise of Jews. You cannot get rid of the Jewish power over the Anglosphere without also getting rid of the WASP Elites and their cultural prejudices, preferences, and patterns.
    , @Jack D
    So you're saying you don't like Roth? You sort of beat around the bush here, but reading between the lines, I think that's what you are getting at. Sometimes it's hard to get nuance from written comments, so please correct me if I am wrong.

    What makes the Swede Lindbergh "core" American and the Jew Roth "an interloper" - aren't they both "foreign" to America? Isn't Lindbergh's desire to bring Swedish style neutrality to America's traditional bonds with England a "foreign" ideology (Lindbergh's "America First" put the British in the exact same category as the Jews - he said, I know you Brits and Jews both have your issues with Hitler, what with the Blitz and the Warsaw Ghetto and all that, but they are just not America's problems, so f*ck off and leave us out of this.)

  67. @whorefinder

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.
     
    Unfortunately, that does explain his "appeal." Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth's works appealed to them, as he was a "voice" of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary "great" author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the "Generation Gap"/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy's Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn't aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he "gets" them.

    Much of Roth's work is really insular to Jews, and it's rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn't find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth's work doesn't even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he's talking about as he writes. Since that's the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn't resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it's assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it's going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you're ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham's depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

    I would add to this, the case of Lenny Bruce. I never understood his status until I understood how Jews regard themselves vis-a-via the goyim. Watch videos of Bruce. He wasn’t funny, not in the way, say, similar lefty Jewish comics of the era were–e.g. Mort Sahl, Jackie Mason. What he was, was a Jewish martyr. What Jews (and their subordinate goys who mimic them) love about him is his subversiveness. To paraphrase Malcolm X, telling the WASP, and his Institutions, to his face just what he thinks of him and his hypocritical 1950s American values. This made him a hero to similarly adverse, highly self-identified Jews like Woody Allen and Howard Stern. Norman Mailer whose writing I do admire, was similar. He sent a copy of The White Negro to William Faulkner and Faulkner told him he needed to see a psychiatrist. Not coincidentally, Bruce, Mailer, Stern and Allen were all sexual degenerates very much into degrading the shiksa!

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  68. @whorefinder

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.
     
    Unfortunately, that does explain his "appeal." Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth's works appealed to them, as he was a "voice" of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary "great" author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the "Generation Gap"/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy's Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn't aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he "gets" them.

    Much of Roth's work is really insular to Jews, and it's rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn't find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth's work doesn't even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he's talking about as he writes. Since that's the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn't resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it's assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it's going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you're ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham's depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

    “Goodbye, Columbus” makes a lot more sense if you read it as someone who throws away a relationship with a beautiful woman from a prosperous family–a family that welcomes him, instead of rejecting him as an outsider–because it wouldn’t allow him to feel like a victim anymore.

    See the movie. Ali MacGraw’s Brenda may be spoiled, but she genuinely cares about him and he could influence her if he took the trouble. What he’s really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.

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    • Replies: @Altai

    What he’s really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.
     
    This is the essential angst. The US, at the time large numbers of Eastern Jews will emigrating was absorbing lots of other groups who didn't have hundreds of years living as separate groups. They were all expected to assimilate into broader society. This may have led to greater expectations for Jews to assimilate than they had previously encountered in other host societies. That and every lurch and move into a new territory chipped away at the group cohesiveness. And god was dying his slow death at the time and was fully dead by the 60s, religion serving to naturally suppress intermarriage was gone.

    The Jews very existence is predicated on not assimilating, but before it was never a decision given to the individual in such a way. All the passive social forces that'd guide you were gone.
  69. @Jack D
    And by 1933 it was half of that, and much less at Yale and Princeton.

    Roth loves America DESPITE the discrimination. He lived thru that era (as a boy). He has no reason to lie. America was not Nazi Germany, but discrimination against Jews was real.

    And by 1933 it was half of that, and much less at Yale and Princeton.

    Roth loves America DESPITE the discrimination. He lived thru that era (as a boy). He has no reason to lie. America was not Nazi Germany, but discrimination against Jews was real.

    Jews, even as relative newcomers, were still given access to American institutions at many multiples of their proportion of the American population. That should be cause for gratitude on their part. That they feel they nonetheless have grounds for resentment against Americans is worrisome.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    They weren't GIVEN anything. They were American citizens and were (before 1925) allowed to be admitted to top universities under the merit based admission by test system that was then prevailing and had always prevailed before and still prevails in a lot of countries that don't have racial issues. But when this system starting allowing "too many" Jews in, the schools switched to different admission systems that would allow them to admit fewer Jews (without admitting that they were engaged in discrimination which even then was unlawful). The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.

    In the Constitution, there is no caste system where American born children of recent immigrants have a lower status than those whose ancestors showed up on the Mayflower. Nor is there some quota system where the number of people in various occupations and institutions is supposed to be exactly proportionate to their representation in the general population. That simply did not occur to the Founding Fathers and had you suggested it to them they would have been disgusted. But that is just the kind of system that you are describing and that was in fact attempted in US society in the 1st half of the 20th century. The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.
  70. Finally listened to Dylan’s Speech, Lecture, or whatever it was. It was great. Of course he deserved the prize for literature. Words to music, words on the stage, words on the page, what difference does it make if it is part of this glorious human language we are so fortunate to have.

    As for Roth, the one thing he lacks is a mastery of the vernacular, the very thing that makes Dylan so great.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    I agree - Roth has no ear for dialogue. His characters do not speak as any actual humans have ever spoken (one reason why his novels have resisted screen treatment and when they have appeared on the screen, the screenplay is nothing like the dialogue in the novels). His characters all speak they way Philip Roth THINKS inside of his head, and Roth is an intelligent man with interesting thoughts so what his characters have to say is interesting and intelligent but it does not resemble actual human speech in the slightest. For that matter, I always have the feeling that Roth's characters are little windup dolls that he sets up in various interesting scenarios, sometimes tragic and sometimes comic and maneuvers around in interesting ways like the clever but sickly child home from school and playing alone with his GI Joe dolls, but rarely do they form fully formed human beings that resemble actual humans.
    , @Malcolm X-Lax
    I'm in the Dylan Nobel camp, too. In terms of lines of poetry, bits of songs, that have stayed with me, echoed over the years, resonated, whatever, Dylan is second only to Shakespeare and maybe Yeats. Dylan was/is a major artist.
  71. @Amasius
    Heller was better. His "Something Happened" is a tremendously underrated work of brilliant cynicism.

    I tried to read “Catch 22″ but got bogged down about a third the way through. Nothing was happening and I couldn’t care about the characters. It didn’t seem like the author cared about his characters. And the cursing just made it harder to read. My husband claimed it was beloved by his peers in the 60′s, but I doubt too many of them read it all the way through. Probably they were having fun being cynical about the “establishment”, whatever that meant.

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    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Brilliant book, but a tough read if you prefer your fiction in a chronological format.
  72. @KM32
    I have to laugh at whoever said Jews aren't good at writing fiction. They punch so far above their weight that it's not funny. Heller, Bellow, Roth, Salinger, Potok, Wiesel. Popular writers like Asimov, Ephron, Sendak, and Maria Doria Russell. Name me a genre and I can find you a zillion successful writers.

    Compare their output to Mormons, and see what you get.

    Let’s see from your list what I’ve read:

    Heller-Catch 22. boring, profane, meaningless. Didn’t finish it
    Bellow-Mr. Sammler’s Planet. boring, gross, odd, gross, occasionally intriguing
    Salinger-The Catcher in the Rye. boring, disgusting, foul-mouthed, meaningless

    I haven’t read anything by the other authors. Should I?

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  73. @utu
    masterbates

    "he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn't mind meeting the author of "Portnoy," but that she didn't want to shake his hand."

    “Meanwhile, on the fiction [bestseller] lists, Portnoy’s Complaint is holding its own at Number One.” — London Sunday Times, circa 1970.

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  74. What to me is most interesting about the names Roth lists. First, he omits the best (and probably most influential) writers from ‘flyover country’: Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Penn Warren, Glasgow.

    Then his choices. Dreiser was an atheist who wallowed in literary Naturalism. His prose is usually much worse than wooden. Everything Dreiser wrote could have been penned by any garden variety atheist Jew who knew Yiddish (which is German, and marks the culturally Germanic proclivities of Ashkenazi Jews.)

    Anderson wrote 1 worthwhile book, and his basic cultural framework was almost as as far Left as Dreiser’s.

    Lardner was first and foremost a sports journalist.

    Lewis spent his life writing about his native midwest, but he did so with as much hostility as any Jewish writer could have pulled off then. Lewis was the first American writer to win the Nobel, primarily because then already then far Left committee saw him as showing up the Middle American boobs.

    Wolfe, had he lived to be 59 rather than 39, might have matured into something truly great. And his prose is the antithesis of that of Dreiser, in that Wolfe’s prose is often naturally poetic. Nor was Wolfe anything like fully hostile to the people of his background as was, say, Lewis. But Wolfe did have paternal German ancestry (the maternal side was Scots-Irish), and he did see his destiny as living in NYC.

    Caldwell was promoted because his religious faith came to be that of Socialism.

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  75. @Charles Pewitt
    Philip Roth is an annoying Jew who nastily attacked the great English/Swedish American Charles Lindbergh. Philip Roth's gratuitous attacks on Lindbergh are grotesque and ugly, which is fitting because Philip Roth is ugly and grotesque. Got to hell, Roth, you vile bastard.

    A. Scott Berg, a Jewish writer, made a big splash with his fair-minded 1998 biography of Charles Lindbergh. Berg's book on Lindbergh stands as a rebuke to Roth.

    Attention Philip Roth: the European Christian ancestral core of the United States sees you as an interloper of the worst sort. If you don't like the United States, Roth, get the hell out, and don't slink off to another European Christian nation-state. How about Uganda, Roth?

    Philip Roth is a putrid rodent incapable of fair-mindedness nor gratitude to the United States. The age of the Jew as the arbiter of judgement on American history and the United States is over.

    “The age of the Jew as the arbiter of judgement on American history and the United States is over.”

    You can dream, but telling such hilarious lies helps no one. WASP culture is and always has been strongly pro-Jewish. At the same time he saw at least 80% of whites native to the British Isles as inherently inferior, Cromwell invited the Jews back to England.

    WASP Elites have facilitated the rise of Jews. You cannot get rid of the Jewish power over the Anglosphere without also getting rid of the WASP Elites and their cultural prejudices, preferences, and patterns.

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    • Replies: @Dumbo
    This is true, so much that I think we can talk about an WASP-Jewish axis (some talk about "Anglo-Zionists" which would be the same thing but less precise). WASP and Jews are the world's elite and they are united, it's not that Jews substituted the WASPs in the elite, but that both basically merged into just one single entity (even the British crown). So to get rid of the one you got to get rid of the other too.
  76. @syonredux

    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they’re trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they’re lucky, the poor bastards.
     
    Henry James gets 12 ( 5 volumes for the short fiction, 6 for the novels, one for autobiographical writings).

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=Henry+James

    William Faulkner gets 5

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/301-william-faulkner

    Mark Twain gets 8

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/253-mark-twain

    One thing that’s always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I’m not impressed. There’s something about their genetics that just doesn’t lend itself to thinking up good stories.
     
    Dunno. The half-Jewish Proust's achievements are rather impressive.

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.

    How so? I find him boring as hell.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.

    How so? I find him boring as hell.
     

    Boring?Well, his novels are slow and do require a good deal of patience.....but I find them worth the effort. Of course, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, I also like Thomas Mann's MAGIC MOUNTAIN....
  77. @Anonymouse
    "It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition."

    Not a fake memory at all. Corperations, 3 letter companies, the phone company, Con Edison, white-shoe law firms, before 1945 did not hire jews. I grew up in those years and that fact was widely known. Resorts did not admit jewish guests, giving rise to the jewish resorts in the Catskills. Real-estate convenants barring sales to jews were legal. Also hard to get into medical schools which had a quota system strictly limiting jews for admission (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians). Descrimination against jews decreased radically after WW II which I imagine was connected somehow to the revelation of Nazi crimes.

    It is almost never mentioned that Jews engaged in (and continue to engage in) exclusion of Gentiles. Does Jewish exclusivm and discrimination against Gentiles justify a certain wariness on the part of Gentiles?

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    This is like saying that law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution. The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues where non-Jewish members would not have been welcome. So there was not a real symmetry.

  78. @Opinionator
    And by 1933 it was half of that, and much less at Yale and Princeton.

    Roth loves America DESPITE the discrimination. He lived thru that era (as a boy). He has no reason to lie. America was not Nazi Germany, but discrimination against Jews was real.

    Jews, even as relative newcomers, were still given access to American institutions at many multiples of their proportion of the American population. That should be cause for gratitude on their part. That they feel they nonetheless have grounds for resentment against Americans is worrisome.

    They weren’t GIVEN anything. They were American citizens and were (before 1925) allowed to be admitted to top universities under the merit based admission by test system that was then prevailing and had always prevailed before and still prevails in a lot of countries that don’t have racial issues. But when this system starting allowing “too many” Jews in, the schools switched to different admission systems that would allow them to admit fewer Jews (without admitting that they were engaged in discrimination which even then was unlawful). The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.

    In the Constitution, there is no caste system where American born children of recent immigrants have a lower status than those whose ancestors showed up on the Mayflower. Nor is there some quota system where the number of people in various occupations and institutions is supposed to be exactly proportionate to their representation in the general population. That simply did not occur to the Founding Fathers and had you suggested it to them they would have been disgusted. But that is just the kind of system that you are describing and that was in fact attempted in US society in the 1st half of the 20th century. The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    We (more specifically you) need a Jewish version of John Derbyshire's "Black Black Blackety Black!"
    , @Mika-Non

    The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.
     
    To stick just with Karabel, he concludes that the Ivy League college admissions committees were specifically concerned with accepting too many of what we now call 'nerds' 'grinds' and pocket-protector, bespectacled types who had never spent time on an athletic playing field. They may present good grades and even stellar test scores but generally they did not represent the well-rounded leadership qualities most definitely being sought.

    Were the adcoms right to share this emphasis? Perhaps--why would it not be within their purview to consider what Karabel quotes them as calling 'the whole boy' rather than a couple of quantitative measures? And would this (in fact, did this) emphasis redound to the detriment of urban, public-school applicants, many of whom were Jews? It appears so. But the fact (which Karabel documents persuasively) that Ivy adcoms looked for leadership qualities as much or more than for grades and standardized test scores does not present a case for anti-semitism--even if fewer Jews were admitted as a result.


    The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.
     
    Hmm... I wonder if you've read anything by, say, Ron Unz. His extensive research shows the exact opposite of your 'whites and Asians (especially Asians)' claim. And that not only aren't Jews being 'victims' they are profiting beyond all reason at everyone else's expense--but especially and particularly at the expense of 'gentile' whites. Yes, I know you know this.
  79. @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?

    It's famous that the first celebrated literary novel by a Jewish-American author was Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" in 1953. But lots of Jews were writing movies, commercial plays, commercial novels, and radio dramas a generation before then.

    “Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?”

    I’m not a cinema/tv pop culture person *at all*, though the last three nights I watched the last 3/4 of season 1 of “Fargo” with DH.
    Very entertaining, but it annoyed me how utterly transparent the fantasies, feelings… even got a pretty good idea of marital history of the writer(s) were. Isn’t this most t.v. and cinema? Has it gotten worse as the newer generations are less self-aware? And isn’t this why most people are frustrated, because they only partially identify or not at all with the characters with much being repulsive? Quite the testament to how much people want to unwind with t.v.

    The writing just isn’t very good. Prolefeed is incredibly apt. Quadruple for crime writing, which we here have ruminated over at length in the past: the writerly set being dreamers and not street-smart. Bill Buckley. And the “documentaries” being churned out trying to either get someone off (Making a Murderer), or condemn (The Keepers) is so much worse. Dude tortured animals and you didn’t think that worth mentioning (MAM)? The second a detective, or anyone with common sense saw that… just pathetic.
    Man I hate t.v.

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    I thought that overall "The Keepers" was quite good. (It would have been much better if edited down to six episodes.) It is not a murder mystery so much as an exploration of the impact Sister Cathy Cesnik and Father Joseph Maskell had and continue to have on those around them.

    And the score was gorgeous.
  80. @utu
    masterbates

    "he heard Jacqueline Susann tell Johnny Carson that she wouldn't mind meeting the author of "Portnoy," but that she didn't want to shake his hand."

    utu:

    I heard Jacqueline Susann make the same statement regarding Roth’s proclivities on Long John Nebel’s radio program at about that same time frame.

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  81. @whorefinder

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.
     
    Unfortunately, that does explain his "appeal." Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth's works appealed to them, as he was a "voice" of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary "great" author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the "Generation Gap"/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy's Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn't aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he "gets" them.

    Much of Roth's work is really insular to Jews, and it's rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn't find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth's work doesn't even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he's talking about as he writes. Since that's the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn't resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it's assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it's going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you're ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham's depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

    I haven’t read any Roth, but a German immigrant venture capitalist I know has spoken highly of American Pastoral. So I don’t think its appeal is limited to Jews.

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    • Replies: @guest
    American Pastoral, in the tradition of boring naturalism, features lengthy discursions on the manufacture of gloves. Those sections, at least, were not full of your typical angst or profanity. But they were also largely pointless and, like I said, boring.

    At least it wasn't easy on hippy terrorists.

  82. @KM32
    I have to laugh at whoever said Jews aren't good at writing fiction. They punch so far above their weight that it's not funny. Heller, Bellow, Roth, Salinger, Potok, Wiesel. Popular writers like Asimov, Ephron, Sendak, and Maria Doria Russell. Name me a genre and I can find you a zillion successful writers.

    Compare their output to Mormons, and see what you get.

    The one Mormon who comes to mind is Orson Scott Card, best known for Ender’s Game. His follow up, Speaker for the Dead, was quite good, and more adult.

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  83. @jacques sheete

    They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary “great” author.
     
    Something similar has gone on with the visual arts as well. Utter garbage produced by untalented fools gets the press and is branded cool, hip, and sophisticated, and is shoved down our throats and in our faces 24/7.

    Stuff that's not even worth composting is accepted as "great" and may be a result of this...


    ...but the overtaking of the farm and the farmer’s indigenous village values by the pervasive business culture and its profit-oriented pursuits.
     
    Grade inflation, modern day concepts of heroism, and junk science are other examples.

    We are a society of anti-standards, conscious degradation and fantasyville, yet we keep searching and hoping for some savior, as if we're entitled to one.

    Good luck with that!

    Re visual arts: a perfect example is the “Snapshot” feature in the FT’s Life & Arts section, which shows some piece of garbage contemporary art every week.

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  84. @Anonymouse
    "It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition."

    Not a fake memory at all. Corperations, 3 letter companies, the phone company, Con Edison, white-shoe law firms, before 1945 did not hire jews. I grew up in those years and that fact was widely known. Resorts did not admit jewish guests, giving rise to the jewish resorts in the Catskills. Real-estate convenants barring sales to jews were legal. Also hard to get into medical schools which had a quota system strictly limiting jews for admission (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians). Descrimination against jews decreased radically after WW II which I imagine was connected somehow to the revelation of Nazi crimes.

    Very well said. The discrimination, BTW, was not only at the C-suite level. My MIL was able to get a job as a draftsman (draftsperson? draftswoman?) at Yale & Towne during WWII in Philadelphia only because the Federal government (even then) had non-discrimination requirements in their defense contracts (she also remembers being pestered to sign up Jewish friends and relatives for jobs so they could meet their targets). Before the war, she could not have dreamed of being hired there as Jew. My late FIL was in engineering at Drexel and he was advised not to do chemical engineering because none of the Philadelphia chemical companies (Rohm & Haas, etc. – the Germans once upon a time dominated chemistry – R&H’s first product BTW was synthetic dog shit – I kid you not) would hire Jews.

    The real estate covenants were an attempt at an end run around the law. Even under 19th century jurisprudence, it was clear that local governments could not pass ordinances excluding people by religion. The thought was that since deed covenants were “private” there was no state action, but of course there is – the covenants have to be enforced by the government or they are meaningless and eventually the Supreme Court ruled them illegal as well.

    Somehow a lot of commenters here (and not excluding Steve) seem to think that just because they didn’t put Jews in America in concentration camps that Jews were never victims of racism. Jews in America were able to do well in sort of “separate but equal” regime (much better than blacks because they are much smarter than blacks) but separate but equal was still a form of segregation that was entirely outside the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. Frankly, the Jews of America would, in some ways, be better off if this system had continued (for one thing there wouldn’t be a 70% intermarriage rate which is going to lead to the extinction of all but Orthodox Jews in a couple of generations) but it was morally wrong, and, as you say, once the horrors of the Nazis became known, it was morally indefensible and eventually legally indefensible as well. A lot of commenters also can’t seem to understand why Jews seem to identify with blacks and civil rights, given their divergent economic interests and differences in intelligence and achievement (and the fact that a lot of blacks don’t particularly like Jews) but once you understand that Jews and blacks were once (to some extent) in the same boat vis a vis the WASPs then it makes sense.

    It should be said that this was all a long time ago – most of this stuff was made illegal by the ’64 Civil Rights Act and even before that, had been fading since WWII and by the ’70s all that was left were a few snooty clubs that nobody cares about. But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.

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    • Replies: @res

    But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.
     
    Agreed about that, but I wonder how you would compare the US with all of the other countries in the world at that time (or in the present!) in that regard? Either in regard to Jews in particular or the more general case of minority overrepresentation in elites (e.g. ethnic Chinese in some countries, Igbo in Africa).

    I think "voting with their feet" says a great deal about which countries provide a relatively good home for various groups.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    Sorry Jack, but we whose ancestors founded those snooty clubs and who now ourselves grace their handsome coffee rooms and quiet libraries DO care about them, DON'T care if others don't care, and plan to stay just as we are, thank you very much.
    , @James Richard
    And you will stay out of those Philadelphia golf clubs. You don't have to worry about being black-balled because you will never be put up for membership in the first place.
    , @Neil Templeton
    It isn't the discrimination. It's the whining.
  85. @Anonym
    Maybe so. I am kind of underwhelmed by the list here:

    http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/essential_jewish_fiction

    Maybe there is something actually to this. Most, if not all of my favorite writers (from the aeons ago when I read fiction) are goy. Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Michael Ende, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, William Gibson, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Captain WE Johns, Jules Verne (the latter few as a kid). I've read a book by Heinlein and liked it quite a lot. I have read a few of Asimov but I find his characters are too wooden. Even Raymond E Feist, who I thought was Jewish, is actually a Gonzales. I suspect his step-father was Jewish.

    I certainly didn't attempt to seek out goy literature and avoid the Jewish as a kid. Maybe there is something to this. Perhaps in some ways it takes a goy to know a goy and understand the wish fulfilment and flights of fancy he wants to take.

    To really see if it's a case of "goys do it better" versus "Jews could but prefer to get paid more as screenwriters or playwrights", I think you need to have a look at those fields and see if they are overwhelmingly dominated by Jews, or is it fairly representative compared to other fields as you would expect.

    You’ve got some awful f***ing taste, chief.

    As for Roth, he’s brilliant and funny, and there’s been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kylie
    "As for Roth, he’s brilliant and funny, and there’s been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?"

    Henry James springs to mind.
    , @Anonym
    Ok. Divulge your list then. I am not ashamed of my list - and I was being honest rather than keeping up appearances. There are several classic authors on mine.

    A lot of those I read as a teen or younger and they reflect those tastes. It was pre-Amazon so I came across them by recommendation or chance rather than searching for the best books of the best authors. I think for genre fiction one could do worse than those authors. Robert Louis Stevenson was excellent as well. Mark Twain. Jack London. Orwell I forgot to include, as with most if it was only a book or two. Frank Herbert's Dune was amazing. Robert Jordan was good but annoying. Again, more goys. No doubt I have missed other authors.

    I tried Kafka as an early teen. Either chose the wrong book or was not mentally ready. I read Catcher in the Rye, and found the protagonist unlikable. There were others I tried to like and either did not give enough of a chance to or they did not appeal. I read Grisham - a page turner but once was enough. Hemingway was only ok. Koontz I felt something was missing with. There were goys that didn't much appeal to me either. I have to say I found (((Judy Blume))) to be very readable as a kid. So sue me. Exception that proves the rule?

    As an adult I largely stopped with the fiction I knew was fiction. I read some neocons for a while, but that was fiction I didn't know was fiction. If I had kept going I would have tried all the classics just to do it. As a kid I was slow to trust new authors, preferring to mine a trusted author.

    The preponderance of goys in the above is kind of pushing me towards the thesis that goys perhaps do have the edge with fiction or at least... fiction I like to read. And the more I think about it, the more I find the thesis that Jews prefer making money with other writing doesn't stack up. There’s not a lot of money in theoretical physics is there? But the best authors can make a good living. And it is not as if Jews can't get a leg up with the publishers. (Lol)
    , @Herzog
    Saul Bellow has. He's majestic.
  86. I always relate Phillip Roth to Canada’s Mordecai Richler. And I found Richler far superior.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Roth paints on a much broader canvas than Richler. If Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy's Complaint was all that Roth ever did then you would be right but Roth's work went far beyond that while Richler remained a provincial. Perhaps it was luck that Roth was an American and America is the essential country of the 20th century while Canada is a relative backwater. If you write the Great American Novel then the whole world pays attention. If you write the Great Canadian Novel then you get reviewed on p.6 of the book review section.
  87. Phillip Roth is a talentless clown whose entire career is due to Jewish networking and self-promotion.

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    • Replies: @Herzog
    "Phillip Roth is a talentless clown whose entire career is due to Jewish networking and self-promotion."

    It should be easy for you then to write better novels than Roth. Can't wait to read them.
  88. @Jack D
    Very well said. The discrimination, BTW, was not only at the C-suite level. My MIL was able to get a job as a draftsman (draftsperson? draftswoman?) at Yale & Towne during WWII in Philadelphia only because the Federal government (even then) had non-discrimination requirements in their defense contracts (she also remembers being pestered to sign up Jewish friends and relatives for jobs so they could meet their targets). Before the war, she could not have dreamed of being hired there as Jew. My late FIL was in engineering at Drexel and he was advised not to do chemical engineering because none of the Philadelphia chemical companies (Rohm & Haas, etc. - the Germans once upon a time dominated chemistry - R&H's first product BTW was synthetic dog shit - I kid you not) would hire Jews.

    The real estate covenants were an attempt at an end run around the law. Even under 19th century jurisprudence, it was clear that local governments could not pass ordinances excluding people by religion. The thought was that since deed covenants were "private" there was no state action, but of course there is - the covenants have to be enforced by the government or they are meaningless and eventually the Supreme Court ruled them illegal as well.

    Somehow a lot of commenters here (and not excluding Steve) seem to think that just because they didn't put Jews in America in concentration camps that Jews were never victims of racism. Jews in America were able to do well in sort of "separate but equal" regime (much better than blacks because they are much smarter than blacks) but separate but equal was still a form of segregation that was entirely outside the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. Frankly, the Jews of America would, in some ways, be better off if this system had continued (for one thing there wouldn't be a 70% intermarriage rate which is going to lead to the extinction of all but Orthodox Jews in a couple of generations) but it was morally wrong, and, as you say, once the horrors of the Nazis became known, it was morally indefensible and eventually legally indefensible as well. A lot of commenters also can't seem to understand why Jews seem to identify with blacks and civil rights, given their divergent economic interests and differences in intelligence and achievement (and the fact that a lot of blacks don't particularly like Jews) but once you understand that Jews and blacks were once (to some extent) in the same boat vis a vis the WASPs then it makes sense.

    It should be said that this was all a long time ago - most of this stuff was made illegal by the '64 Civil Rights Act and even before that, had been fading since WWII and by the '70s all that was left were a few snooty clubs that nobody cares about. But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.

    But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.

    Agreed about that, but I wonder how you would compare the US with all of the other countries in the world at that time (or in the present!) in that regard? Either in regard to Jews in particular or the more general case of minority overrepresentation in elites (e.g. ethnic Chinese in some countries, Igbo in Africa).

    I think “voting with their feet” says a great deal about which countries provide a relatively good home for various groups.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Of course, compared to where their ancestors came from, America was paradise - the Golden Land. But that's a low bar - America is better than shitty countries like Russia. Of course it is. America is a Great Experiment - it's supposed to be a place where we are always trying to form a MORE PERFECT union, the New World where the accident of birth is not supposed to define us and every man is free to achieve his potential. A country where people were segregated by race, religion and caste (Northern elites hated working class whites and other ethnics perhaps even more than they hated Jews, they just didn't have to compete with them as much in the halls of Harvard) in contravention of the spirit (and barely skirting the letter) of our founding documents was not what I would call a more perfect union. From late 19th century to the end of WWII, America went backward in many regards and in ways that Madison, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc. would have found horrifying - it was not a country where the "better angels" ruled.
  89. @Anonymouse
    "It’s always about a philo-rothisserie of fake collective memory and collaborative tribal inhibition."

    Not a fake memory at all. Corperations, 3 letter companies, the phone company, Con Edison, white-shoe law firms, before 1945 did not hire jews. I grew up in those years and that fact was widely known. Resorts did not admit jewish guests, giving rise to the jewish resorts in the Catskills. Real-estate convenants barring sales to jews were legal. Also hard to get into medical schools which had a quota system strictly limiting jews for admission (like the quota system now in place to limit the admission to elite colleges of Asians). Descrimination against jews decreased radically after WW II which I imagine was connected somehow to the revelation of Nazi crimes.

    people of polish ancestry, slaves, Laps, Hungarians, Yugoslavians, Italians (sometimes collectively called Displaced Persons or DP’s) were also excluded from many of the tonier institutions in America. That has pretty much disappeared now, but we could always dwell on it endlessly.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.
    , @bored identity
    Perpetual RetcongnitiveDissonace is the last resort of Weimerica's echo-chambering owners.

    Besides Catskills and Tdzak D's attic , of course.

    https://youtu.be/4ColUyHplX8?t=41s
  90. @Rosamond Vincy
    "Goodbye, Columbus" makes a lot more sense if you read it as someone who throws away a relationship with a beautiful woman from a prosperous family--a family that welcomes him, instead of rejecting him as an outsider--because it wouldn't allow him to feel like a victim anymore.

    See the movie. Ali MacGraw's Brenda may be spoiled, but she genuinely cares about him and he could influence her if he took the trouble. What he's really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.

    What he’s really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.

    This is the essential angst. The US, at the time large numbers of Eastern Jews will emigrating was absorbing lots of other groups who didn’t have hundreds of years living as separate groups. They were all expected to assimilate into broader society. This may have led to greater expectations for Jews to assimilate than they had previously encountered in other host societies. That and every lurch and move into a new territory chipped away at the group cohesiveness. And god was dying his slow death at the time and was fully dead by the 60s, religion serving to naturally suppress intermarriage was gone.

    The Jews very existence is predicated on not assimilating, but before it was never a decision given to the individual in such a way. All the passive social forces that’d guide you were gone.

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    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    The real issue is class, not religion. The Patimkins are contented little capitalists. They worked their way up successfully. Instead of wailing that the WASP Country Club won't let them in, they have their own country club where they can get a little exercise while making social contacts and possibly finding people to marry, as Brenda logically tries to do. They have their family problems, such as Mrs. Patimkin's obvious resentment of Brenda's protected status as Daddy's Little Girl, but nothing you would call the police or CPS for. They are proof that the American Dream DOES work. That is what Neil--and Roth--can't tolerate.
    , @Opinionator
    All the passive social forces that’d guide you were gone.

    Bit of an overstatement.
  91. @Thea
    I found Goodbye Columbus boring, depressing and meaningless. Did I miss something?

    I’m guessing you’re not a big Mantovani fan.

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  92. @Look Sharp
    I always relate Phillip Roth to Canada's Mordecai Richler. And I found Richler far superior.

    Roth paints on a much broader canvas than Richler. If Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint was all that Roth ever did then you would be right but Roth’s work went far beyond that while Richler remained a provincial. Perhaps it was luck that Roth was an American and America is the essential country of the 20th century while Canada is a relative backwater. If you write the Great American Novel then the whole world pays attention. If you write the Great Canadian Novel then you get reviewed on p.6 of the book review section.

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  93. @Hairway To Steven
    You've got some awful f***ing taste, chief.

    As for Roth, he's brilliant and funny, and there's been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?

    “As for Roth, he’s brilliant and funny, and there’s been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?”

    Henry James springs to mind.

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  94. @Dahlia
    "Or maybe the Jews who are good at making up good stories tend to go into higher paid forms of writing, like movies and TV?"

    I'm not a cinema/tv pop culture person *at all*, though the last three nights I watched the last 3/4 of season 1 of "Fargo" with DH.
    Very entertaining, but it annoyed me how utterly transparent the fantasies, feelings... even got a pretty good idea of marital history of the writer(s) were. Isn't this most t.v. and cinema? Has it gotten worse as the newer generations are less self-aware? And isn't this why most people are frustrated, because they only partially identify or not at all with the characters with much being repulsive? Quite the testament to how much people want to unwind with t.v.

    The writing just isn't very good. Prolefeed is incredibly apt. Quadruple for crime writing, which we here have ruminated over at length in the past: the writerly set being dreamers and not street-smart. Bill Buckley. And the "documentaries" being churned out trying to either get someone off (Making a Murderer), or condemn (The Keepers) is so much worse. Dude tortured animals and you didn't think that worth mentioning (MAM)? The second a detective, or anyone with common sense saw that... just pathetic.
    Man I hate t.v.

    I thought that overall “The Keepers” was quite good. (It would have been much better if edited down to six episodes.) It is not a murder mystery so much as an exploration of the impact Sister Cathy Cesnik and Father Joseph Maskell had and continue to have on those around them.

    And the score was gorgeous.

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  95. @res

    But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.
     
    Agreed about that, but I wonder how you would compare the US with all of the other countries in the world at that time (or in the present!) in that regard? Either in regard to Jews in particular or the more general case of minority overrepresentation in elites (e.g. ethnic Chinese in some countries, Igbo in Africa).

    I think "voting with their feet" says a great deal about which countries provide a relatively good home for various groups.

    Of course, compared to where their ancestors came from, America was paradise – the Golden Land. But that’s a low bar – America is better than shitty countries like Russia. Of course it is. America is a Great Experiment – it’s supposed to be a place where we are always trying to form a MORE PERFECT union, the New World where the accident of birth is not supposed to define us and every man is free to achieve his potential. A country where people were segregated by race, religion and caste (Northern elites hated working class whites and other ethnics perhaps even more than they hated Jews, they just didn’t have to compete with them as much in the halls of Harvard) in contravention of the spirit (and barely skirting the letter) of our founding documents was not what I would call a more perfect union. From late 19th century to the end of WWII, America went backward in many regards and in ways that Madison, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc. would have found horrifying – it was not a country where the “better angels” ruled.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Fair enough, but it's worth noting that immigrants are making not just a choice between their previous and new country. They are also implicitly choosing their new country over all of the other possibilities they might have immigrated to.
  96. @James Richard

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.
     
    How so? I find him boring as hell.

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.

    How so? I find him boring as hell.

    Boring?Well, his novels are slow and do require a good deal of patience…..but I find them worth the effort. Of course, to give you an idea of where I’m coming from, I also like Thomas Mann’s MAGIC MOUNTAIN….

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?
    , @James Richard
    My idea of a good fictional read are writers like Aldous Huxley, P.G.Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Stephen Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Muriel Spark. If we have to include American born authors then a broad swath that would include Poe, Twain, and James M. Cain.
  97. @Lot

    but good fiction writers? No
     
    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here's a list of the world's ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie - English
    William Shakespeare - English
    Barbara Cartland - English
    Danielle Steel - Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins - Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon - Jewish
    Enid Blyton - English
    J. K. Rowling - English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess - German American
    Gilbert Patten - English American

    So 2.5 of the top 10 indicates a lot of ability to write what the public wants to buy. Also on the list are #11 Jackie Collins (half Jewish/half English), #13 R.L. Stine (Midwestern Jewish), #23 Stan and Jan Berenstain (Jewish-American husband and English-American wife, raised their children Jewish).

    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here’s a list of the world’s ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie – English
    William Shakespeare – English
    Barbara Cartland – English
    Danielle Steel – Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins – Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon – Jewish
    Enid Blyton – English
    J. K. Rowling – English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess – German American
    Gilbert Patten – English American

    Yeesh. Subtract Shakespeare and the two kid-lit authors, and that is one depressing list. Even Christie pales when compared to serious detective lit writers like Hammett and Chandler.

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  98. @Hairway To Steven
    You've got some awful f***ing taste, chief.

    As for Roth, he's brilliant and funny, and there's been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?

    Ok. Divulge your list then. I am not ashamed of my list – and I was being honest rather than keeping up appearances. There are several classic authors on mine.

    A lot of those I read as a teen or younger and they reflect those tastes. It was pre-Amazon so I came across them by recommendation or chance rather than searching for the best books of the best authors. I think for genre fiction one could do worse than those authors. Robert Louis Stevenson was excellent as well. Mark Twain. Jack London. Orwell I forgot to include, as with most if it was only a book or two. Frank Herbert’s Dune was amazing. Robert Jordan was good but annoying. Again, more goys. No doubt I have missed other authors.

    I tried Kafka as an early teen. Either chose the wrong book or was not mentally ready. I read Catcher in the Rye, and found the protagonist unlikable. There were others I tried to like and either did not give enough of a chance to or they did not appeal. I read Grisham – a page turner but once was enough. Hemingway was only ok. Koontz I felt something was missing with. There were goys that didn’t much appeal to me either. I have to say I found (((Judy Blume))) to be very readable as a kid. So sue me. Exception that proves the rule?

    As an adult I largely stopped with the fiction I knew was fiction. I read some neocons for a while, but that was fiction I didn’t know was fiction. If I had kept going I would have tried all the classics just to do it. As a kid I was slow to trust new authors, preferring to mine a trusted author.

    The preponderance of goys in the above is kind of pushing me towards the thesis that goys perhaps do have the edge with fiction or at least… fiction I like to read. And the more I think about it, the more I find the thesis that Jews prefer making money with other writing doesn’t stack up. There’s not a lot of money in theoretical physics is there? But the best authors can make a good living. And it is not as if Jews can’t get a leg up with the publishers. (Lol)

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  99. @Opinionator
    It is almost never mentioned that Jews engaged in (and continue to engage in) exclusion of Gentiles. Does Jewish exclusivm and discrimination against Gentiles justify a certain wariness on the part of Gentiles?

    This is like saying that law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution. The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues where non-Jewish members would not have been welcome. So there was not a real symmetry.

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    • Disagree: James Richard
    • Replies: @James Richard
    Jews were immediately big in retail and hence controlled the newspapers through department store advertising, they then branched out to movies, radio, and TV all to the immense detriment to America.
    , @peterike

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution.

     

    Well that would have been news to the Warburgs, running Kuhn Loeb and setting up the Federal Reserve when they weren't busy giving Woodrow Wilson his marching orders and getting America into WWI in exchange for the Balfour Declaration. As well as to Jacob Schiff who was busy running the National City Bank of New York, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Wells Fargo & Company, and the Union Pacific Railroad.

    One might also want to ask Herbert Lehman, of Lehman Brothers, what he thought, when he wasn't busy being Governor of New York for four terms or being a New York State Senator.

    Mining magnate Adolph Lewisohn might question your comments as well.

    Isaac Newton Seligman, banker, died in 1917 worth around $20 million, but I'm sure he had no influence on anything.

    Solomon Guggenheim I'm sure was too busy running his mining and smelting operations to consider himself part of any "industrial corporation."

    One could go on, but basically what you said is a lot of nonsense. Jews were a massive presence in American banking and industry even in the 19th century.

    , @Mika-Non

    The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues
     
    Let's just ignore Jewish investment banking, shall we? Kuhn, Loeb (founded in 1867); J & W Seligman (founded in 1864); Goldman Sachs (1869); and Lehman Brothers (1850). Let's not talk about publishing, retail, movies and television, right? You are becoming ever more comical--and quickly.

    Upthread I quoted Jerome Karabel's finding that Jews had 'achieved' 30% of Harvard's enrollment by 1925. Yet a quick internet search shows hundreds of thousands of hits on "Jews excluded from Ivy League before 1965".

    But here you (and others) are busy quoting your Uncle Milton saying his neighbor's wife's grandfather was blackballed at some country club.

    It becomes clear where American blacks got their habit of 'retconning' made-up 'facts' in order to justify their anti-white animus. At least blacks had a point at one time.
  100. Jack D, you see oddly certain that your interpretation of America better concurs with what its Founders intended than anyone else can conceive. Sort of like so many Jewish and Negro “constitutional lawyers” who have told us all what the Constitution really meant, rather than what it said. Yet somehow you slip up and admit that your imaginary America was “the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. ” Of course, the post-Civil War Amendments were in many ways antithetical to what the Founders intended and explicitly wrote.

    And, of course, all those native born, true-blue Jewish “citizens” made certain of their rights from the get go, including rioting in New York over schools’ Christmas observances and, in 1907, getting the very name of Christ banned from all songs and textbooks, and ensuring Christmas was referred to as merely “Good-time day.” Deja vu all over again, as they say. But do go on, Jack, and inform us, like Philip Roth, how Jewish immigrants felt such great devotion to America that they went to herculean efforts to ensure it was recreated in their own image.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Right, because Christmas is mentioned all over the place in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin - appealing to Jesus was what they were all about. It's all over their writings - Jeebus this and Jeebus that. Oh wait, no it wasn't.

    Slavery was America's original sin. The Founding Fathers, even the ones who were slave holders knew it but they were not powerful enough to overcome the vast economic interests. They knew it was going to bite America in the ass one day but there was nothing they could do about it except kick the can down the road. Think of the vested interests in the health care debate and multiply by ten.

    Forgetting about what they were THINKING, if you look at just actions, all the anti-Semitic crap of the late 19th century onward - the restricted hotels and clubs and universities, etc. simply didn't exist in the founding era. If they were thinking about discriminating against Jews they sure didn't do much about it.
  101. @whorefinder

    Never understood the appeal of this author. Portnoy’s Complaint is just about an extremely whiny, nebbishy Jewish guy who masterbates too much and drones on forever about his psychological complexes.
     
    Unfortunately, that does explain his "appeal." Jews control a large portion of the Megaphone, and did even back when Roth was starting out. Roth's works appealed to them, as he was a "voice" of Jewish-Americans of that period. They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary "great" author.

    As Steve explained, this is rather similar to how The Graduate became a hit: Jews in New York and LA kept going to screenings, keeping it theaters, until gradually it was talked up to goys and became a hit, although the Jewishness, as Steve has noted, was downplayed to goys, and the "Generation Gap"/Baby Boomer aspects were uptalked.

    The quite open Freudian nature of Portnoy's Complaint makes it rather laughable to anyone not in the Freudian cult, and hence it hasn't aged well. However, the Jewish obsession with sex, assimilation, their mothers, and shiksa women remains, so many young Jews can still pick it up and be enthralled by how much he "gets" them.

    Much of Roth's work is really insular to Jews, and it's rather funny to think of him as anything other than a niche author. I was forced to read Goodbye, Columbus in high school and couldn't find a bit of it to relate to. I realize why now: Roth's work doesn't even attempt to explain to outsiders the assimilation-with-American-goys Jews were obsessed with, and merely assumes you know what he's talking about as he writes. Since that's the major theme and metaphor of the book, it doesn't resonate with non-Jews.

    Reading Goodbye, Columbus was rather like reading a story about space travel where it's assumed you know all the mathematics and physics and historical theories behind launching a rocket and is really obsessed with faster escape velocity theories in detail; it's going to go over the heads of most readers unless you skillfully get them up to speed.

    Broadly, if you're ever puzzled why certain artists are extolled despite rather mundane outputs and low popularity, check if the reviewers extolling the artists share some sort of personal/ethnic connection with the artist. This rather explains why a lowly-rated, badly-written show like Girls got so much press: lots of ugly twenty-something and thirty-something Jewish American female critics living or from Brooklyn liked Lena Dunham's depiction of fat, ugly Jewish broad having meaningless sex in Brooklyn.

    A point that I often make is that the soundtrack can often make the difference between a good movie and a classic, yet few pick up on it. The Graduate features several of the best Simon and Garfunkel songs. Without that it would not be as highly rated.

    Music is hardwired to emotion, and crosses the languagr barrier. Why would it not be the key to provoking the correct emotional response… what a movie does?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right, the Graduate's Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack songs, such as "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Sounds of Silence," dominated the airwaves, from kids' Top 40 stations to adults' Middle of the Road stations in 1968. This might have been the most successful original pop soundtrack until Saturday Night Fever's a decade later.
    , @James Richard
    I find Simon and Garfunkel both excruciatingly pretentious and irritatingly condescending, kind of like James Taylor. Catchy tunes though thanks to Simon's melodies.
  102. @Charles Pewitt
    Philip Roth is an annoying Jew who nastily attacked the great English/Swedish American Charles Lindbergh. Philip Roth's gratuitous attacks on Lindbergh are grotesque and ugly, which is fitting because Philip Roth is ugly and grotesque. Got to hell, Roth, you vile bastard.

    A. Scott Berg, a Jewish writer, made a big splash with his fair-minded 1998 biography of Charles Lindbergh. Berg's book on Lindbergh stands as a rebuke to Roth.

    Attention Philip Roth: the European Christian ancestral core of the United States sees you as an interloper of the worst sort. If you don't like the United States, Roth, get the hell out, and don't slink off to another European Christian nation-state. How about Uganda, Roth?

    Philip Roth is a putrid rodent incapable of fair-mindedness nor gratitude to the United States. The age of the Jew as the arbiter of judgement on American history and the United States is over.

    So you’re saying you don’t like Roth? You sort of beat around the bush here, but reading between the lines, I think that’s what you are getting at. Sometimes it’s hard to get nuance from written comments, so please correct me if I am wrong.

    What makes the Swede Lindbergh “core” American and the Jew Roth “an interloper” – aren’t they both “foreign” to America? Isn’t Lindbergh’s desire to bring Swedish style neutrality to America’s traditional bonds with England a “foreign” ideology (Lindbergh’s “America First” put the British in the exact same category as the Jews – he said, I know you Brits and Jews both have your issues with Hitler, what with the Blitz and the Warsaw Ghetto and all that, but they are just not America’s problems, so f*ck off and leave us out of this.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    The number of Swedes who have dedicated their lives to hijacking and destroying everything that was good about the American nation is vanishingly small.
  103. @CK
    The comic book industry was created by those "excluded" folks to name one industry.

    I read Watchmen and thought it brilliant. Alan Moore appears to be English and found success in that most Jewish of things, the comic book.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I read Watchmen and thought it brilliant. Alan Moore appears to be English and found success in that most Jewish of things, the comic book.
     
    The comic book is less Jewish than people think. For one thing, newspaper adventure/fantasy strips were the direct precursor to the comic book superhero: Prince Valiant (Hal Foster), Flash Gordon (Alex Raymond), Little Nemo in Slumberland (Winsor McCay), Terry and the Pirates (Milt Caniff), Dick Tracy (Chester Gould), Little Orphan Annie (Harold Gray), etc

    Lee Falk (Jewish and the creator of Mandrake and the Phantom) is an exception, not the rule.
  104. @Luke Lea
    Finally listened to Dylan's Speech, Lecture, or whatever it was. It was great. Of course he deserved the prize for literature. Words to music, words on the stage, words on the page, what difference does it make if it is part of this glorious human language we are so fortunate to have.

    As for Roth, the one thing he lacks is a mastery of the vernacular, the very thing that makes Dylan so great.

    I agree – Roth has no ear for dialogue. His characters do not speak as any actual humans have ever spoken (one reason why his novels have resisted screen treatment and when they have appeared on the screen, the screenplay is nothing like the dialogue in the novels). His characters all speak they way Philip Roth THINKS inside of his head, and Roth is an intelligent man with interesting thoughts so what his characters have to say is interesting and intelligent but it does not resemble actual human speech in the slightest. For that matter, I always have the feeling that Roth’s characters are little windup dolls that he sets up in various interesting scenarios, sometimes tragic and sometimes comic and maneuvers around in interesting ways like the clever but sickly child home from school and playing alone with his GI Joe dolls, but rarely do they form fully formed human beings that resemble actual humans.

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  105. @Thea
    I found Goodbye Columbus boring, depressing and meaningless. Did I miss something?

    Definitely depressing.

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  106. @Anonym
    A point that I often make is that the soundtrack can often make the difference between a good movie and a classic, yet few pick up on it. The Graduate features several of the best Simon and Garfunkel songs. Without that it would not be as highly rated.

    Music is hardwired to emotion, and crosses the languagr barrier. Why would it not be the key to provoking the correct emotional response... what a movie does?

    Right, the Graduate’s Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack songs, such as “Mrs. Robinson” and “The Sounds of Silence,” dominated the airwaves, from kids’ Top 40 stations to adults’ Middle of the Road stations in 1968. This might have been the most successful original pop soundtrack until Saturday Night Fever’s a decade later.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    One wonders what Superman or especially the Star Wars trilogy would be without John Williams (or Wagner). Even Apocalypse Now has Wagner himself, not to mention Hendrix and prime Doors. The Man With No Name without Morricone. Godfather without Rota.

    I was about to list Shawshank as an exception... but those two ladies... Mozart. 2001. A Clockwork Orange. Lawrence of Arabia. Blade Runner. Browsing through the imdb top 100 it seems that in many cases the soundtrack is a critical element of success. One would think that in an audio-visual medium the music/soundtrack might need to be perfect to achieve perfection but it is so frequently overlooked. We think in terms of directors, actors, cinematographers but tend to overlook the musical contribution.

    As you suggest, S&G and certainly Beegees were best of the best at those respective times. So it is easier to see, but in the other examples the soundtracks are just as awesome but not from pop music, so harder to objectively compare.

    The beauty of the period piece is that one can go back and dust off the best music from the era, like Boogie Nights did. God Only Knows. Not to say that Boogie Nights was a great movie but the soundtrack elevated it.
    , @Jack D
    Mike Nichols told the story (it's on the interwebs on video somewhere) that Simon initially wrote a theme song that Nichols just hated. When they auditioned it for him, he said, "Do you have anything else?" Simon said , "Give us a minute" and he went off into a corner with Garfunkel and whispered a few things in his ear. Apparently they had been working on a song called "Here's to You, Mrs. Roosevelt" (Eleanor had just died) and they substituted Robinson for Roosevelt. As a placeholder for lyrics they couldn't improvise on the spot, they threw in a bunch of woo hoo hoos and dee dee dees as dummy lyrics but Nichols thought they were part of the song and wouldn't let them take them out later.
  107. @Formerly CARealist
    I tried to read "Catch 22" but got bogged down about a third the way through. Nothing was happening and I couldn't care about the characters. It didn't seem like the author cared about his characters. And the cursing just made it harder to read. My husband claimed it was beloved by his peers in the 60's, but I doubt too many of them read it all the way through. Probably they were having fun being cynical about the "establishment", whatever that meant.

    Brilliant book, but a tough read if you prefer your fiction in a chronological format.

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    • Replies: @Gross Terry
    catch 22 is pretty good example of jewish thought, as it takes a vital idea and "liberalizes" and castrates it, to make it palatable for general consumption. If you want the original, read Journey to the End of the Night, its funnier and coherent, but much much more dark.
  108. @Luke Lea
    Finally listened to Dylan's Speech, Lecture, or whatever it was. It was great. Of course he deserved the prize for literature. Words to music, words on the stage, words on the page, what difference does it make if it is part of this glorious human language we are so fortunate to have.

    As for Roth, the one thing he lacks is a mastery of the vernacular, the very thing that makes Dylan so great.

    I’m in the Dylan Nobel camp, too. In terms of lines of poetry, bits of songs, that have stayed with me, echoed over the years, resonated, whatever, Dylan is second only to Shakespeare and maybe Yeats. Dylan was/is a major artist.

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  109. @Jim Daniel
    You could also throw in highbrows like Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer and Paul Auster if you like, plus more popular writers like William Goldman, Ira Levin, Leon Uris, Herman Wouk, and Irwin Shaw. In science fiction I particularly liked Alfred Bester, but there are loads of others. Lots of great children's books, too; The Giving Tree is a heartbreaker.

    The Giving Tree gave me the creeps, but do read it if you can get it at the public library. It encapsulates the social and economic program of our current ruling class.

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  110. @Anonym
    I read Watchmen and thought it brilliant. Alan Moore appears to be English and found success in that most Jewish of things, the comic book.

    I read Watchmen and thought it brilliant. Alan Moore appears to be English and found success in that most Jewish of things, the comic book.

    The comic book is less Jewish than people think. For one thing, newspaper adventure/fantasy strips were the direct precursor to the comic book superhero: Prince Valiant (Hal Foster), Flash Gordon (Alex Raymond), Little Nemo in Slumberland (Winsor McCay), Terry and the Pirates (Milt Caniff), Dick Tracy (Chester Gould), Little Orphan Annie (Harold Gray), etc

    Lee Falk (Jewish and the creator of Mandrake and the Phantom) is an exception, not the rule.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Daniel
    Wow, what a good warm memory you gave me when you mentioned those classic comic strips, especially Little Nemo and the original Prince Valiant and Flash Gordon. Amazing work.

    Comics got more Jewish when they went from strips to books and then created superheroes. First the Golden Age Superman, Batman, Captain America, Green Lantern, the Spirit &c, then the non-superhero EC horror books, and finally the whole great Marvel Comics stable of course, including Spiderman, Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X-Men and many more.

    Less Jewish-dominated, but still with Jewish presence of course, were the great 1980's independent or alternative comics that took "graphic art" to a new level, like Love and Rockets, Cerebus the Aardvark, Concrete, Mage, Nexus, Sandman, Maus, Animal Man & Doom Patrol, V for Vendetta and Watchmen. Most of that work is still sadly overlooked, IMHO.
  111. @Steve Sailer
    Right, the Graduate's Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack songs, such as "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Sounds of Silence," dominated the airwaves, from kids' Top 40 stations to adults' Middle of the Road stations in 1968. This might have been the most successful original pop soundtrack until Saturday Night Fever's a decade later.

    One wonders what Superman or especially the Star Wars trilogy would be without John Williams (or Wagner). Even Apocalypse Now has Wagner himself, not to mention Hendrix and prime Doors. The Man With No Name without Morricone. Godfather without Rota.

    I was about to list Shawshank as an exception… but those two ladies… Mozart. 2001. A Clockwork Orange. Lawrence of Arabia. Blade Runner. Browsing through the imdb top 100 it seems that in many cases the soundtrack is a critical element of success. One would think that in an audio-visual medium the music/soundtrack might need to be perfect to achieve perfection but it is so frequently overlooked. We think in terms of directors, actors, cinematographers but tend to overlook the musical contribution.

    As you suggest, S&G and certainly Beegees were best of the best at those respective times. So it is easier to see, but in the other examples the soundtracks are just as awesome but not from pop music, so harder to objectively compare.

    The beauty of the period piece is that one can go back and dust off the best music from the era, like Boogie Nights did. God Only Knows. Not to say that Boogie Nights was a great movie but the soundtrack elevated it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Part of the popularity of the cash cow Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is that they've got a distinctive idea for the sound tracks -- extremely catchy 1970s hit tunes by mostly forgotten artists -- and a good explanation for why these songs are in the movies: All that Chris Pratt has from his beloved late mother are a few mixtapes that she made of her favorite songs on the radio from her teenage years.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    You can find bits of Alex North's unused score for 2001 online and it's pretty good, but the Ligety compositions in particular took 2001 to another level.
    , @Anon 2
    Let's not forget the great French film composer Francis Lai
    who wrote the unforgettable themes for "A Man and A Woman"
    (1966), "Love Story" (1970), and I hate to mention it but he also
    wrote music for "Bilitis" (1977).

    Another composer whose film scores are unforgettable is
    the Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner who wrote music
    for almost all Kieslowski films: "Decalogue" (1988-89),
    "The Double Life of Veronique" (1991), "Three Colors" (1993-4), etc
    By the way, he felt so ashamed of his common last name (Kowalski,
    i.e., Smith), so unbefitting of a composer he thought, that he took on his
    wife's surname Preisner
  112. @Steve Sailer
    Right, the Graduate's Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack songs, such as "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Sounds of Silence," dominated the airwaves, from kids' Top 40 stations to adults' Middle of the Road stations in 1968. This might have been the most successful original pop soundtrack until Saturday Night Fever's a decade later.

    Mike Nichols told the story (it’s on the interwebs on video somewhere) that Simon initially wrote a theme song that Nichols just hated. When they auditioned it for him, he said, “Do you have anything else?” Simon said , “Give us a minute” and he went off into a corner with Garfunkel and whispered a few things in his ear. Apparently they had been working on a song called “Here’s to You, Mrs. Roosevelt” (Eleanor had just died) and they substituted Robinson for Roosevelt. As a placeholder for lyrics they couldn’t improvise on the spot, they threw in a bunch of woo hoo hoos and dee dee dees as dummy lyrics but Nichols thought they were part of the song and wouldn’t let them take them out later.

    Read More
  113. @JohnnyD
    ,
    I didn't like Portnoy's Complaint either. But some of Roth's other works, like American Pastoral and Goodbye Columbus, are really good. Roth is interesting to read because his depictions of American Jewish life are often critical and negative.

    “his depictions of American Jewish life are often critical and negative”

    The main character of Indignation is a real piece of work, and in my opinion unsympathetic.

    So are basically all the characters in the ridiculous Plot Against America, which otherwise could be the Great American Paranoid Jew Novel.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyD
    @guest,
    I agree with you about Plot Against America. Roth didn't even try to understand the appeal of the America First Committee, or why the goyim in flyover country wanted to stay out of World War II.
  114. @reiner Tor

    describes it generically as “religious orthodoxy” to encourage the Goyim to shed their own religion.
     
    He might not be conscious about it, it might just be a result of his unwillingness to criticize specifically his own religion in front of a wide outsider audience. He might understand the effect this has on the goyim but just doesn't care, or even thinks that it's better if Jews shed their religion, then the goyim shed theirs, too.

    “his unwillingness to criticize specifically his own religion in front of a wide outsider audience”

    If he did, he’d get labeled self-hating and anti-semitic. Marx got the stigma for “speaking out of school,” and saying things they all said about themselves when not in mixed company. (And that was before all the mass murder baggage )

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  115. @syonredux

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.

    How so? I find him boring as hell.
     

    Boring?Well, his novels are slow and do require a good deal of patience.....but I find them worth the effort. Of course, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, I also like Thomas Mann's MAGIC MOUNTAIN....

    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?
     
    Yep. Gotta say, though, I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined....
  116. OT (sort of) I’m switching channels on cable and I see that Trading Places is on, which was my favorite comedy when I was kid. As I was reflecting on the topic of this thread (creative jews) and watching Trading Places and thinking about what pure jewish propaganda it is disguised as very skillful comedy, I start to peruse the channels again, noticing right about Trading Places on the channel guide I see “School Ties,” written by Dick Wolf, directed by some guy named Mandel, which for those of you haven’t seen it is also pure jewish propaganda (poor but plucky jew maintains dignity in the face of cruel WASPS at prep school). Above THAT is Saturday Night Fever, written by a jew, and filled to the brim with brainless, mookish Italian stereotypes (including a self-defrocking catholic priest). All of which is to come back to say that Marlon Brando was right. Oy vey!

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Some of the worst Italian mobster portrayals were by Italians David Chase (The Sopranos) and Martin Scorsese (pick one, but think of the mooks DiCaprio beats up in The Departed).
  117. @Jack D
    They weren't GIVEN anything. They were American citizens and were (before 1925) allowed to be admitted to top universities under the merit based admission by test system that was then prevailing and had always prevailed before and still prevails in a lot of countries that don't have racial issues. But when this system starting allowing "too many" Jews in, the schools switched to different admission systems that would allow them to admit fewer Jews (without admitting that they were engaged in discrimination which even then was unlawful). The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.

    In the Constitution, there is no caste system where American born children of recent immigrants have a lower status than those whose ancestors showed up on the Mayflower. Nor is there some quota system where the number of people in various occupations and institutions is supposed to be exactly proportionate to their representation in the general population. That simply did not occur to the Founding Fathers and had you suggested it to them they would have been disgusted. But that is just the kind of system that you are describing and that was in fact attempted in US society in the 1st half of the 20th century. The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.

    We (more specifically you) need a Jewish version of John Derbyshire’s “Black Black Blackety Black!”

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Trust me that I don't spend my days obsessing about the Joos, but some commenters here seem to. I'm remind of what John Hay said about his friend Henry Adams. When Adams "saw Vesuvius reddening... [he] searched for a Jew stoking the fire." If y'all are just trolls looking to piss me off, it's working, but I'm afraid that you actually believe this crap. I know you're irredeemable but I hate to let your twisted views go without rebuttal 'cause of the young 'uns.
  118. ,
    I can see why you wouldn’t like it. I found it compelling because I grew up in a Jewish environment in which I was told that Jews are always the good guys. “Goodbye Columbus” turns that type of hagiography on its head.

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  119. @Jack D
    So you're saying you don't like Roth? You sort of beat around the bush here, but reading between the lines, I think that's what you are getting at. Sometimes it's hard to get nuance from written comments, so please correct me if I am wrong.

    What makes the Swede Lindbergh "core" American and the Jew Roth "an interloper" - aren't they both "foreign" to America? Isn't Lindbergh's desire to bring Swedish style neutrality to America's traditional bonds with England a "foreign" ideology (Lindbergh's "America First" put the British in the exact same category as the Jews - he said, I know you Brits and Jews both have your issues with Hitler, what with the Blitz and the Warsaw Ghetto and all that, but they are just not America's problems, so f*ck off and leave us out of this.)

    The number of Swedes who have dedicated their lives to hijacking and destroying everything that was good about the American nation is vanishingly small.

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    The number of Swedes who have dedicated their lives to hijacking and destroying everything that was good about the American nation is vanishingly small.
     
    But they include Lindbergh, who would have, if he could get away with it, imported Nazism into America. *Everyone's* got a hidden agenda. Of course, some of the commenters here would have cheered him on. During the war, Lindbergh had no issues fighting Japanese untermenschen, but he drew the line at fighting his Jew- and Slav-exterminating Aryan herrenvolk. He was a man of his time, only more so.
  120. @jacques sheete

    They thus promoted the turd out of him, and shoved him down the throats of others until he became a standard contemporary “great” author.
     
    Something similar has gone on with the visual arts as well. Utter garbage produced by untalented fools gets the press and is branded cool, hip, and sophisticated, and is shoved down our throats and in our faces 24/7.

    Stuff that's not even worth composting is accepted as "great" and may be a result of this...


    ...but the overtaking of the farm and the farmer’s indigenous village values by the pervasive business culture and its profit-oriented pursuits.
     
    Grade inflation, modern day concepts of heroism, and junk science are other examples.

    We are a society of anti-standards, conscious degradation and fantasyville, yet we keep searching and hoping for some savior, as if we're entitled to one.

    Good luck with that!

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  121. @syonredux

    The half-Jewish Proust’s achievements are rather impressive.

    How so? I find him boring as hell.
     

    Boring?Well, his novels are slow and do require a good deal of patience.....but I find them worth the effort. Of course, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, I also like Thomas Mann's MAGIC MOUNTAIN....

    My idea of a good fictional read are writers like Aldous Huxley, P.G.Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Stephen Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Muriel Spark. If we have to include American born authors then a broad swath that would include Poe, Twain, and James M. Cain.

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    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    An interesting and eclectic list.
    Has anyone here read Knut Hamsun? He re-invented the novel, and his early works, once read, remain with one for a lifetime.
  122. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Anderson may be the most influential and least well known writer of the early part of the 20th Century. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Henry Miller all acknowledged his influence, though Hemingway in typical Hemingway fashion viciously turned on the generous elder writer. Yet he's almost forgotten today. When I was an English major in the late 80s early 90s, Anderson's Winesberg, Ohio was a book we all had to read. In re Roth, funniest part of Portnoy's Complaint is when he talks about his overwhelming lust for Shiksas and his utter contempt for their beliefs, ideas, thoughts etc. Roth! What a guy!

    Anderson’s fate is strange, considering the catchy story about his nervous breakdown. Up and walking away from a successful career as a businessman, wandering for days, then vowing to write of his experiences, or whatever it was. It’s mythical, at least in modernist circles.

    But not everyone can be remembered, historical importance and literary value aside. Not many people read short stories anymore, for one. Except in school. We might forget Hemingway and Fitzgerald if they didn’t have their novels, too. Anderson wrote novels, of course, but none of them stuck, so to speak. Winesburg, Ohio is as close to being a novel as any collection of short stories I’ve read, but I guess it wasn’t enough.

    I won’t suggest conspiracy theory, as I do for some forgotten modern masters (John O’Hara, John P. Marquand, James Gould Cozzens, whom I bring up because I’m still pissed I had to stumble upon them by accident), because despite not standing out for experimental or political reasons, Anderson is still useful to modernism. But other former big modernist names have declined. D.H. Lawrence is nothing but the good kind of pornographer in popular consciousness, and Wyndham Lewis barely exists at all. Dreiser survives as typical of crude realism that gets assigned if schools have time. I feel Sinclair Lewis slipping away, though Trump’s election probably boosted sales of It Can’t Happen Here.

    Possibly Anderson met the same fate as Samuel Butler. Butler was like a bolt out of the blue in his own time, but now no one reads The Way of All Flesh. They don’t have to. They already know it without bothering to read it. The same can be said of Babbitt. I actually read Babbitt (I have to read Lewis; it’s the law in MN), and it felt like deja vu. That book is baked into the culture now.

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  123. @Kylie
    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?

    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?

    Yep. Gotta say, though, I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined….

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    • Replies: @James Richard

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined….
     
    That's because we all read Robert Louis Stevenson and the Baroness Orczy!
    , @Kylie
    "I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined…."

    Nonsense. Late James is definitely not for everyone. I love those three novels but that's because I'm an obsessive type. I love The Aspern Papers, which is, of course, a story of obsession. Have you read 'Europe'? An excellent horror story, also about obsession. James resolved his "mommy issues" rather neatly. He was apparently his parents' favorite child and on a conscious level, adored his mother, always referring to her reverently. He then proceeded to create some truly horrifying
    maternal characters.
  124. @Jack D
    This is like saying that law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution. The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues where non-Jewish members would not have been welcome. So there was not a real symmetry.

    Jews were immediately big in retail and hence controlled the newspapers through department store advertising, they then branched out to movies, radio, and TV all to the immense detriment to America.

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  125. @Jack D
    Very well said. The discrimination, BTW, was not only at the C-suite level. My MIL was able to get a job as a draftsman (draftsperson? draftswoman?) at Yale & Towne during WWII in Philadelphia only because the Federal government (even then) had non-discrimination requirements in their defense contracts (she also remembers being pestered to sign up Jewish friends and relatives for jobs so they could meet their targets). Before the war, she could not have dreamed of being hired there as Jew. My late FIL was in engineering at Drexel and he was advised not to do chemical engineering because none of the Philadelphia chemical companies (Rohm & Haas, etc. - the Germans once upon a time dominated chemistry - R&H's first product BTW was synthetic dog shit - I kid you not) would hire Jews.

    The real estate covenants were an attempt at an end run around the law. Even under 19th century jurisprudence, it was clear that local governments could not pass ordinances excluding people by religion. The thought was that since deed covenants were "private" there was no state action, but of course there is - the covenants have to be enforced by the government or they are meaningless and eventually the Supreme Court ruled them illegal as well.

    Somehow a lot of commenters here (and not excluding Steve) seem to think that just because they didn't put Jews in America in concentration camps that Jews were never victims of racism. Jews in America were able to do well in sort of "separate but equal" regime (much better than blacks because they are much smarter than blacks) but separate but equal was still a form of segregation that was entirely outside the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. Frankly, the Jews of America would, in some ways, be better off if this system had continued (for one thing there wouldn't be a 70% intermarriage rate which is going to lead to the extinction of all but Orthodox Jews in a couple of generations) but it was morally wrong, and, as you say, once the horrors of the Nazis became known, it was morally indefensible and eventually legally indefensible as well. A lot of commenters also can't seem to understand why Jews seem to identify with blacks and civil rights, given their divergent economic interests and differences in intelligence and achievement (and the fact that a lot of blacks don't particularly like Jews) but once you understand that Jews and blacks were once (to some extent) in the same boat vis a vis the WASPs then it makes sense.

    It should be said that this was all a long time ago - most of this stuff was made illegal by the '64 Civil Rights Act and even before that, had been fading since WWII and by the '70s all that was left were a few snooty clubs that nobody cares about. But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.

    Sorry Jack, but we whose ancestors founded those snooty clubs and who now ourselves grace their handsome coffee rooms and quiet libraries DO care about them, DON’T care if others don’t care, and plan to stay just as we are, thank you very much.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Sorry, I did not mean to denigrate your beloved clubs - you should be happy if no one cares about them because the alternative is that you are a target.

    My point really was that Steve (and even some Jews) seem to think that the big problem for Jews in America was being kept out of clubs, but clubs were never the issue. Jobs were the issue.

    From what I have seen of a lot of clubs, the problem nowadays is getting young people IN, not keeping Jews out. See Steve's other piece about golf clubs going broke. I am familiar with a couple of country (golf) clubs in the Phila area where the average member age is somewhere between 70 and dead. My in-laws used to drag me to theirs once in awhile because they had to spend the minimum on (the awful) food and it was like eating at a nursing home.
  126. @Anonym
    A point that I often make is that the soundtrack can often make the difference between a good movie and a classic, yet few pick up on it. The Graduate features several of the best Simon and Garfunkel songs. Without that it would not be as highly rated.

    Music is hardwired to emotion, and crosses the languagr barrier. Why would it not be the key to provoking the correct emotional response... what a movie does?

    I find Simon and Garfunkel both excruciatingly pretentious and irritatingly condescending, kind of like James Taylor. Catchy tunes though thanks to Simon’s melodies.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    Everyone's tastes are different, but I feel constrained to note Art Garfunkel's astounding vocal instrument. Even if Simon weren't a great songwriter (with whatever failings included) Art's voice would remain noteworthy.

    Meanwhile, I can see how Simon's work grates on some, and he does pursue an 'agenda'--moreover the quality of his songwriting varies dramatically. But at his best he was something of a genius. IMHO of course.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Give Allison Krauss covering Paul Simon a try.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/871957152239431680
  127. I read a lot of Philip Roth books during a period until I got tired of him. Jewish authors are a bit like Black authors in that they seem to only like to write about being Jewish/being Black. The ones I remember are:

    Portnoy’s Complaint – some funny parts, but it aged badly
    Zuckerman Unbound – I liked it at the time but would probably not like it now
    The Human Stain – thought it was pretty bad, unrealistic, boring
    Sabbath’s Theater – kind of good, but like Portnoy it’s about a Jewish sex maniac so it has limited appeal
    Operation Shylock – perhaps one of his most interesting books, I thought at the time, and it takes place in Israel, so at least it’s something different
    American Pastoral – perhaps the most “universal” and less “Jewish” of his books, I guess it’s good as a view on the radicalism of the 60s, don’t know
    Indignation – again about anti-semitism and college in the 50s and Korean war, meh.

    Basically Jewish-American writers seems to write only about Jewish life, anti-semitism and sex, so it gets tiresome very soon. I stick to the classics now.

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  128. @Jack D
    Very well said. The discrimination, BTW, was not only at the C-suite level. My MIL was able to get a job as a draftsman (draftsperson? draftswoman?) at Yale & Towne during WWII in Philadelphia only because the Federal government (even then) had non-discrimination requirements in their defense contracts (she also remembers being pestered to sign up Jewish friends and relatives for jobs so they could meet their targets). Before the war, she could not have dreamed of being hired there as Jew. My late FIL was in engineering at Drexel and he was advised not to do chemical engineering because none of the Philadelphia chemical companies (Rohm & Haas, etc. - the Germans once upon a time dominated chemistry - R&H's first product BTW was synthetic dog shit - I kid you not) would hire Jews.

    The real estate covenants were an attempt at an end run around the law. Even under 19th century jurisprudence, it was clear that local governments could not pass ordinances excluding people by religion. The thought was that since deed covenants were "private" there was no state action, but of course there is - the covenants have to be enforced by the government or they are meaningless and eventually the Supreme Court ruled them illegal as well.

    Somehow a lot of commenters here (and not excluding Steve) seem to think that just because they didn't put Jews in America in concentration camps that Jews were never victims of racism. Jews in America were able to do well in sort of "separate but equal" regime (much better than blacks because they are much smarter than blacks) but separate but equal was still a form of segregation that was entirely outside the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. Frankly, the Jews of America would, in some ways, be better off if this system had continued (for one thing there wouldn't be a 70% intermarriage rate which is going to lead to the extinction of all but Orthodox Jews in a couple of generations) but it was morally wrong, and, as you say, once the horrors of the Nazis became known, it was morally indefensible and eventually legally indefensible as well. A lot of commenters also can't seem to understand why Jews seem to identify with blacks and civil rights, given their divergent economic interests and differences in intelligence and achievement (and the fact that a lot of blacks don't particularly like Jews) but once you understand that Jews and blacks were once (to some extent) in the same boat vis a vis the WASPs then it makes sense.

    It should be said that this was all a long time ago - most of this stuff was made illegal by the '64 Civil Rights Act and even before that, had been fading since WWII and by the '70s all that was left were a few snooty clubs that nobody cares about. But it was once very real and not at all imaginary.

    And you will stay out of those Philadelphia golf clubs. You don’t have to worry about being black-balled because you will never be put up for membership in the first place.

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  129. @Astorian
    Naturally, the Midwestern authors Roth champions were men who LOATHED the Midwest and despised their neighbors.

    Sinclair Lewis' work told young Philip Roth, "Yep, the victim are just as stupid, narrow minded and bigoted as you always suspected." Roth's silly " Plot Against America" was his tribute to Lewis.

    That’s basically true, but as always with this sort of thing you must calibrate for time. Lewis’ loathing could be considered gentle fondness compared to the way a contemporary progressive views the Babbitts of the world. Even Kingsblood Royal, where a heretofore regular white guy has his while world blown up because it’s discovered he has black drops in his blood, would give an SJW fits for its depiction of blacks.

    Still, Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non

    Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.
     
    Oh, we should put 'right' in quotes, I do think. Lately I've finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the 'right' trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn't on the 'right' side of history. Funny how that works, huh?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we're not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?

  130. @Jake
    "The age of the Jew as the arbiter of judgement on American history and the United States is over."

    You can dream, but telling such hilarious lies helps no one. WASP culture is and always has been strongly pro-Jewish. At the same time he saw at least 80% of whites native to the British Isles as inherently inferior, Cromwell invited the Jews back to England.

    WASP Elites have facilitated the rise of Jews. You cannot get rid of the Jewish power over the Anglosphere without also getting rid of the WASP Elites and their cultural prejudices, preferences, and patterns.

    This is true, so much that I think we can talk about an WASP-Jewish axis (some talk about “Anglo-Zionists” which would be the same thing but less precise). WASP and Jews are the world’s elite and they are united, it’s not that Jews substituted the WASPs in the elite, but that both basically merged into just one single entity (even the British crown). So to get rid of the one you got to get rid of the other too.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    You might enjoy "The Triumphant Decline of the WASP" by Noah Feldman (NYT) Published: June 25, 2010

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28feldman.html

    Keeping in mind, of course, that this is their version of events.

  131. @syonredux
    Sinclair Lewis had more of a love-hate relationship with the Midwest.And that kind of back-and-forth is conducive to good writing.

    He was enough of a great artist to “flip the script” occasionally and make the big city folks look like the bumpkins or the provincial look sophisticated. But it wasn’t any kind of even back-and-forth. There’s no doubting which side he was on, and he wasn’t with small-town America or the mid-west as a whole. He wasn’t with reactionaries of any sort, whoever they may be.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    He was enough of a great artist to “flip the script” occasionally and make the big city folks look like the bumpkins or the provincial look sophisticated. But it wasn’t any kind of even back-and-forth. There’s no doubting which side he was on, and he wasn’t with small-town America or the mid-west as a whole.
     
    Yeah, on balance, he leaned more towards the negative pole when depicting life in the Mid West....but there was always a layer of affection towards Main Street in his work....His satire never reached Swiftian levels....
  132. @Anonym
    One wonders what Superman or especially the Star Wars trilogy would be without John Williams (or Wagner). Even Apocalypse Now has Wagner himself, not to mention Hendrix and prime Doors. The Man With No Name without Morricone. Godfather without Rota.

    I was about to list Shawshank as an exception... but those two ladies... Mozart. 2001. A Clockwork Orange. Lawrence of Arabia. Blade Runner. Browsing through the imdb top 100 it seems that in many cases the soundtrack is a critical element of success. One would think that in an audio-visual medium the music/soundtrack might need to be perfect to achieve perfection but it is so frequently overlooked. We think in terms of directors, actors, cinematographers but tend to overlook the musical contribution.

    As you suggest, S&G and certainly Beegees were best of the best at those respective times. So it is easier to see, but in the other examples the soundtracks are just as awesome but not from pop music, so harder to objectively compare.

    The beauty of the period piece is that one can go back and dust off the best music from the era, like Boogie Nights did. God Only Knows. Not to say that Boogie Nights was a great movie but the soundtrack elevated it.

    Part of the popularity of the cash cow Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is that they’ve got a distinctive idea for the sound tracks — extremely catchy 1970s hit tunes by mostly forgotten artists — and a good explanation for why these songs are in the movies: All that Chris Pratt has from his beloved late mother are a few mixtapes that she made of her favorite songs on the radio from her teenage years.

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  133. @James Richard
    I find Simon and Garfunkel both excruciatingly pretentious and irritatingly condescending, kind of like James Taylor. Catchy tunes though thanks to Simon's melodies.

    Everyone’s tastes are different, but I feel constrained to note Art Garfunkel’s astounding vocal instrument. Even if Simon weren’t a great songwriter (with whatever failings included) Art’s voice would remain noteworthy.

    Meanwhile, I can see how Simon’s work grates on some, and he does pursue an ‘agenda’–moreover the quality of his songwriting varies dramatically. But at his best he was something of a genius. IMHO of course.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    It says something that the first SNL episode after 9/11 opened with Paul Simon playing The Boxer and the post-9/11 Concert for New York opened with David Bowie covering Simon & Garfunkel's America.
    , @Anonym
    Even if Simon weren’t a great songwriter (with whatever failings included) Art’s voice would remain noteworthy.

    https://youtu.be/Ho92k2CKNh0

    You are not kidding. Garfunkel was great. Elvis covered the above, and did an awesome job... but IMO Garfunkel did it better. Garfunkel could even make a Norwood 4A look good.

    I remember a college friend who used to rag on Garfunkel, stating that without Simon he would have been nothing. That's a juvenile viewpoint - that because anyone can sing (unlike those who can play an instrument, or are seen to play an intstrument in a band), that everyone can sing well. Or that the singer contributes little to the success of a band, or their songs.

    I think as one gets older in life, one learns to appreciate singers who can sing well and what they bring to a piece of music.

    I started off listening to S&G with "best ofs", so skipped their more political stuff I guess. I guess they covered Dylan's "Times, they are a changin". Unlike Dylan/Zimmerman, the typical lyrics don't rub me up the wrong way. I just read the lyrics of that... "Enjoy your whitopia while you can, Kulaks!" Oh well, just one song and it was a cover.
  134. @Mika-Non
    American Psycho is indeed an interesting case. Ellis made the novel deliberately revolting, and I daresay deliberately stupid, in much the same way that Pasolini made Salò completely nauseating. They want you to associate the nausea with their characters, to show you just how bad bad can be.

    Though in Pasolini's case, I came to the conclusion that it had to be Pasolini himself who was nauseating; in the case of American Psycho an entertaining, humorous movie version was created thanks to a clever director (Mary Harron), in full control of her message and yes, Bale sinking his teeth into the role.

    “They want to associate the nausea with their characters, to show you just how bad bad can be”

    That’s a perfect example of one of the great crimes of modernism. They confuse effects with means. Being disgusted by a book is not the same thing as telling a story that rightly disgusts people. You can achieve the same effect by using all the old narrative conventions.

    I haven’t read American Psycho, but I have read books that work like what you describe, and I call it cheap. It’s a shortcut. It’s like the difference between luring someone into a trap and a suckerpunch.

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  135. @syonredux

    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?
     
    Yep. Gotta say, though, I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined....

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined….

    That’s because we all read Robert Louis Stevenson and the Baroness Orczy!

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  136. @Anonym
    One wonders what Superman or especially the Star Wars trilogy would be without John Williams (or Wagner). Even Apocalypse Now has Wagner himself, not to mention Hendrix and prime Doors. The Man With No Name without Morricone. Godfather without Rota.

    I was about to list Shawshank as an exception... but those two ladies... Mozart. 2001. A Clockwork Orange. Lawrence of Arabia. Blade Runner. Browsing through the imdb top 100 it seems that in many cases the soundtrack is a critical element of success. One would think that in an audio-visual medium the music/soundtrack might need to be perfect to achieve perfection but it is so frequently overlooked. We think in terms of directors, actors, cinematographers but tend to overlook the musical contribution.

    As you suggest, S&G and certainly Beegees were best of the best at those respective times. So it is easier to see, but in the other examples the soundtracks are just as awesome but not from pop music, so harder to objectively compare.

    The beauty of the period piece is that one can go back and dust off the best music from the era, like Boogie Nights did. God Only Knows. Not to say that Boogie Nights was a great movie but the soundtrack elevated it.

    You can find bits of Alex North’s unused score for 2001 online and it’s pretty good, but the Ligety compositions in particular took 2001 to another level.

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  137. @scrivener3
    people of polish ancestry, slaves, Laps, Hungarians, Yugoslavians, Italians (sometimes collectively called Displaced Persons or DP's) were also excluded from many of the tonier institutions in America. That has pretty much disappeared now, but we could always dwell on it endlessly.

    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.
     
    I've always found it interesting that Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and John O'Hara were such acute observers of subtle social distinctions. Perhaps it has something to do with the slight layer of difference that was afforded by their non-WASP background. Almost WASPs, as it were, very similar but not quite the same.
    , @Jake
    Scott was two things that the vast majority of Irish Catholics in America were not, which allowed him into WASP corridors that they could not imagine. One, he was far from poor. WASP Elites hate poor white gentiles. Second, he was kin to Francis Scott Key.
    , @Anon 2
    The Polish, being Northern Europeans, tend to be stoic, and don't complain in
    public as much as groups that are more southern in temperament, such as
    Jews and blacks, which seem to be always seeking limelight.

    However, a lot happens behind the scenes. E.g., two Polish noblemen
    had a great deal of influence on the global level:

    1. Józef Retinger (1888-1960), Polish politician who was an adviser
    to Count Zamoyski, and was a co-founder of the Bilderberg Group
    in 1954.

    2. Zbigniew Brzezinski, recently deceased, was a co-founder of
    The Trilateral Commission in 1973.

    Both groups have a shadowy reputation, and the fact that both
    were co-founded by Polish noblemen has given rise to
    conspiracy theories in Russia and Ukraine, i.e., that Polish
    aristocrats are plotting against Russia to restore the Polish-
    Lithuanian Commonwealth (or Intermarium) which will be ruled
    by the Polish noblemen with the Ukrainians playing the role
    of cheap labor. I've seen this discussed in various forums, and
    heard it also from a Russian friend. The fact that Trump is
    planning to visit Warsaw before visiting London or Paris is
    reinforcing this sort of thinking.

  138. @James Richard
    My idea of a good fictional read are writers like Aldous Huxley, P.G.Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Stephen Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Muriel Spark. If we have to include American born authors then a broad swath that would include Poe, Twain, and James M. Cain.

    An interesting and eclectic list.
    Has anyone here read Knut Hamsun? He re-invented the novel, and his early works, once read, remain with one for a lifetime.

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    • Replies: @James Richard
    Isaac Bashevis Singer was a big fan and fulsomely praised him in 1967 despite Hamsun at age 80 having supported the German takeover of Norway in 1940 and giving his Nobel prize medal to Joseph Goebbels as a gift!
  139. @Malcolm X-Lax
    OT (sort of) I'm switching channels on cable and I see that Trading Places is on, which was my favorite comedy when I was kid. As I was reflecting on the topic of this thread (creative jews) and watching Trading Places and thinking about what pure jewish propaganda it is disguised as very skillful comedy, I start to peruse the channels again, noticing right about Trading Places on the channel guide I see "School Ties," written by Dick Wolf, directed by some guy named Mandel, which for those of you haven't seen it is also pure jewish propaganda (poor but plucky jew maintains dignity in the face of cruel WASPS at prep school). Above THAT is Saturday Night Fever, written by a jew, and filled to the brim with brainless, mookish Italian stereotypes (including a self-defrocking catholic priest). All of which is to come back to say that Marlon Brando was right. Oy vey!

    Some of the worst Italian mobster portrayals were by Italians David Chase (The Sopranos) and Martin Scorsese (pick one, but think of the mooks DiCaprio beats up in The Departed).

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  140. @Jack D
    This is like saying that law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution. The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues where non-Jewish members would not have been welcome. So there was not a real symmetry.

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution.

    Well that would have been news to the Warburgs, running Kuhn Loeb and setting up the Federal Reserve when they weren’t busy giving Woodrow Wilson his marching orders and getting America into WWI in exchange for the Balfour Declaration. As well as to Jacob Schiff who was busy running the National City Bank of New York, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Wells Fargo & Company, and the Union Pacific Railroad.

    One might also want to ask Herbert Lehman, of Lehman Brothers, what he thought, when he wasn’t busy being Governor of New York for four terms or being a New York State Senator.

    Mining magnate Adolph Lewisohn might question your comments as well.

    Isaac Newton Seligman, banker, died in 1917 worth around $20 million, but I’m sure he had no influence on anything.

    Solomon Guggenheim I’m sure was too busy running his mining and smelting operations to consider himself part of any “industrial corporation.”

    One could go on, but basically what you said is a lot of nonsense. Jews were a massive presence in American banking and industry even in the 19th century.

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    • Agree: Mika-Non
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    No question German Jews from Seligman to Goldman and Sachs helped build the Wall Street establishment in the 19th and early 20th Century. But the experience of Jewish immigrants from Poland and elsewhere was different. I doubt Bernie Sanders' father could have gotten a job at Seligman or Goldman.
  141. @Dave Pinsen
    Re that list:

    - The HBO production of Angels in America was good. The ending is a bit weak, but Kushner can write dialog (and is an example of a Jew lured by more commercial ventures -- he's also a screenwriter). It's probably up there with the most notable plays of the 20th Century.

    - Re Isaac Singer: his novel Shosha (not mentioned on the list) was pretty good.

    - Kavelier & Clay was a good novel, but if it's "the 50 most essential" that's not a high compliment on the rest. Arguably, Neal Gaiman's American Gods (not on the list) is more influential, as it's spawned a well-reviewed and entertaining TV series.

    - Everything Is Illuminated was complete garbage, and benefited (as did the rest of Foer's career) from the advocacy of his journalist brother and Joyce Carol Oates, who taught him at Princeton.

    - Seize The Day was cited by the Nobel committee. I read it and could not understand why at all.

    Seize the Day is overrated because it is shorter Bellow, and the premier complaint about Bellow is that people don’t like his longer novels. Except Auggie March, which gets special dispensation. It also features what I think is a powerful father/son climax.

    But it’s also an example of what is my most hated literary convention: the epiphany. And in this case, I have no idea what the heck the epiphany is about, unless it relates to the title. But that’s just a guess. It’s not there in the text, except by hint. I hate that.

    But I love Bellow, overall. It’s a sort of irrational love, because I despise a lot of what he stands for.

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  142. @Jack D
    This is like saying that law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution. The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues where non-Jewish members would not have been welcome. So there was not a real symmetry.

    The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues

    Let’s just ignore Jewish investment banking, shall we? Kuhn, Loeb (founded in 1867); J & W Seligman (founded in 1864); Goldman Sachs (1869); and Lehman Brothers (1850). Let’s not talk about publishing, retail, movies and television, right? You are becoming ever more comical–and quickly.

    Upthread I quoted Jerome Karabel’s finding that Jews had ‘achieved’ 30% of Harvard’s enrollment by 1925. Yet a quick internet search shows hundreds of thousands of hits on “Jews excluded from Ivy League before 1965″.

    But here you (and others) are busy quoting your Uncle Milton saying his neighbor’s wife’s grandfather was blackballed at some country club.

    It becomes clear where American blacks got their habit of ‘retconning’ made-up ‘facts’ in order to justify their anti-white animus. At least blacks had a point at one time.

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    • Replies: @Jack D

    Jerome Karabel’s finding that Jews had ‘achieved’ 30% of Harvard’s enrollment by 1925. Yet a quick internet search shows hundreds of thousands of hits on “Jews excluded from Ivy League before 1965″.
     
    These two data points are not at all contradictory because Harvard put its anti-Jewish admission policies into place AFTER 1925. By 1933 Jewish enrollment at Harvard had been cut in half and even more at Princeton and Yale.
  143. @James Richard
    I find Simon and Garfunkel both excruciatingly pretentious and irritatingly condescending, kind of like James Taylor. Catchy tunes though thanks to Simon's melodies.

    Give Allison Krauss covering Paul Simon a try.

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    • Replies: @James Richard
    I never said Paul Simon couldn't write a catchy melody nor did I say that Art Garfunkel can't sing, it's the lyrics of the S&G era which are so irritating. And Alison Krause can make anyone sound good.

    But if you must insist I much prefer the New York Voices for Paul Simon covers:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bjE2HVQ1u8

  144. @Lot

    but good fiction writers? No
     
    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here's a list of the world's ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie - English
    William Shakespeare - English
    Barbara Cartland - English
    Danielle Steel - Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins - Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon - Jewish
    Enid Blyton - English
    J. K. Rowling - English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess - German American
    Gilbert Patten - English American

    So 2.5 of the top 10 indicates a lot of ability to write what the public wants to buy. Also on the list are #11 Jackie Collins (half Jewish/half English), #13 R.L. Stine (Midwestern Jewish), #23 Stan and Jan Berenstain (Jewish-American husband and English-American wife, raised their children Jewish).

    Danielle Steel – Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins – Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon – Jewish

    Ahh yes, classic Jewish “literature” — selling smut to the masses.

    What did Basil Fawlty call Harold Robbins? Oh yeah, “a kind of pornographic muzak.”

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Harold Robbins gets name-checked by arguably the whitest band in the world.

    https://youtu.be/cuJ1AefhWzE
  145. @Dumbo
    This is true, so much that I think we can talk about an WASP-Jewish axis (some talk about "Anglo-Zionists" which would be the same thing but less precise). WASP and Jews are the world's elite and they are united, it's not that Jews substituted the WASPs in the elite, but that both basically merged into just one single entity (even the British crown). So to get rid of the one you got to get rid of the other too.

    You might enjoy “The Triumphant Decline of the WASP” by Noah Feldman (NYT) Published: June 25, 2010

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28feldman.html

    Keeping in mind, of course, that this is their version of events.

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  146. @Mika-Non
    Everyone's tastes are different, but I feel constrained to note Art Garfunkel's astounding vocal instrument. Even if Simon weren't a great songwriter (with whatever failings included) Art's voice would remain noteworthy.

    Meanwhile, I can see how Simon's work grates on some, and he does pursue an 'agenda'--moreover the quality of his songwriting varies dramatically. But at his best he was something of a genius. IMHO of course.

    It says something that the first SNL episode after 9/11 opened with Paul Simon playing The Boxer and the post-9/11 Concert for New York opened with David Bowie covering Simon & Garfunkel’s America.

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  147. @Jack D
    They weren't GIVEN anything. They were American citizens and were (before 1925) allowed to be admitted to top universities under the merit based admission by test system that was then prevailing and had always prevailed before and still prevails in a lot of countries that don't have racial issues. But when this system starting allowing "too many" Jews in, the schools switched to different admission systems that would allow them to admit fewer Jews (without admitting that they were engaged in discrimination which even then was unlawful). The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.

    In the Constitution, there is no caste system where American born children of recent immigrants have a lower status than those whose ancestors showed up on the Mayflower. Nor is there some quota system where the number of people in various occupations and institutions is supposed to be exactly proportionate to their representation in the general population. That simply did not occur to the Founding Fathers and had you suggested it to them they would have been disgusted. But that is just the kind of system that you are describing and that was in fact attempted in US society in the 1st half of the 20th century. The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.

    The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.

    To stick just with Karabel, he concludes that the Ivy League college admissions committees were specifically concerned with accepting too many of what we now call ‘nerds’ ‘grinds’ and pocket-protector, bespectacled types who had never spent time on an athletic playing field. They may present good grades and even stellar test scores but generally they did not represent the well-rounded leadership qualities most definitely being sought.

    Were the adcoms right to share this emphasis? Perhaps–why would it not be within their purview to consider what Karabel quotes them as calling ‘the whole boy’ rather than a couple of quantitative measures? And would this (in fact, did this) emphasis redound to the detriment of urban, public-school applicants, many of whom were Jews? It appears so. But the fact (which Karabel documents persuasively) that Ivy adcoms looked for leadership qualities as much or more than for grades and standardized test scores does not present a case for anti-semitism–even if fewer Jews were admitted as a result.

    The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.

    Hmm… I wonder if you’ve read anything by, say, Ron Unz. His extensive research shows the exact opposite of your ‘whites and Asians (especially Asians)’ claim. And that not only aren’t Jews being ‘victims’ they are profiting beyond all reason at everyone else’s expense–but especially and particularly at the expense of ‘gentile’ whites. Yes, I know you know this.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to "leadership" and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in. Only when Jews started showing up in large numbers did it become urgent to consider "the whole boy". The complaints sound exactly like those leveled against Asians today.
  148. @peterike

    In the period in question, WASPs controlled all the big banks in America, the universities, the railroads and industrial corporations, the automobile manufacturers, the steel companies, the government and every other major institution.

     

    Well that would have been news to the Warburgs, running Kuhn Loeb and setting up the Federal Reserve when they weren't busy giving Woodrow Wilson his marching orders and getting America into WWI in exchange for the Balfour Declaration. As well as to Jacob Schiff who was busy running the National City Bank of New York, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Wells Fargo & Company, and the Union Pacific Railroad.

    One might also want to ask Herbert Lehman, of Lehman Brothers, what he thought, when he wasn't busy being Governor of New York for four terms or being a New York State Senator.

    Mining magnate Adolph Lewisohn might question your comments as well.

    Isaac Newton Seligman, banker, died in 1917 worth around $20 million, but I'm sure he had no influence on anything.

    Solomon Guggenheim I'm sure was too busy running his mining and smelting operations to consider himself part of any "industrial corporation."

    One could go on, but basically what you said is a lot of nonsense. Jews were a massive presence in American banking and industry even in the 19th century.

    No question German Jews from Seligman to Goldman and Sachs helped build the Wall Street establishment in the 19th and early 20th Century. But the experience of Jewish immigrants from Poland and elsewhere was different. I doubt Bernie Sanders’ father could have gotten a job at Seligman or Goldman.

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  149. @peterike

    Danielle Steel – Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins – Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon – Jewish
     
    Ahh yes, classic Jewish "literature" -- selling smut to the masses.

    What did Basil Fawlty call Harold Robbins? Oh yeah, "a kind of pornographic muzak."

    Harold Robbins gets name-checked by arguably the whitest band in the world.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    Now, now. White as in skin color (Racist!) or as in culture (Also Racist!)?

    Squeeze made no bones about their musical origins in R&B. If you're a fan at all, you'll doubtless know about their concert intro segue from "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MGs right into the song you quote. The mesh is (deliberately) seamless. It's a very 'classy' homage.

    Aww crap. Was it "Another Nail In My Heart"?? I can't find it. Hope I didn't dream it.

    , @Malcolm X-Lax
    Whenever I hear "Harold Robbins" I think of that Squeeze song. For the record, Squeeze were/is/are quite soulful.
  150. @Altai

    What he’s really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.
     
    This is the essential angst. The US, at the time large numbers of Eastern Jews will emigrating was absorbing lots of other groups who didn't have hundreds of years living as separate groups. They were all expected to assimilate into broader society. This may have led to greater expectations for Jews to assimilate than they had previously encountered in other host societies. That and every lurch and move into a new territory chipped away at the group cohesiveness. And god was dying his slow death at the time and was fully dead by the 60s, religion serving to naturally suppress intermarriage was gone.

    The Jews very existence is predicated on not assimilating, but before it was never a decision given to the individual in such a way. All the passive social forces that'd guide you were gone.

    The real issue is class, not religion. The Patimkins are contented little capitalists. They worked their way up successfully. Instead of wailing that the WASP Country Club won’t let them in, they have their own country club where they can get a little exercise while making social contacts and possibly finding people to marry, as Brenda logically tries to do. They have their family problems, such as Mrs. Patimkin’s obvious resentment of Brenda’s protected status as Daddy’s Little Girl, but nothing you would call the police or CPS for. They are proof that the American Dream DOES work. That is what Neil–and Roth–can’t tolerate.

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  151. @Dave Pinsen
    I haven't read any Roth, but a German immigrant venture capitalist I know has spoken highly of American Pastoral. So I don't think its appeal is limited to Jews.

    American Pastoral, in the tradition of boring naturalism, features lengthy discursions on the manufacture of gloves. Those sections, at least, were not full of your typical angst or profanity. But they were also largely pointless and, like I said, boring.

    At least it wasn’t easy on hippy terrorists.

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    • Replies: @Hanoi Paris Hilton
    In the case of Rita Cohen, more specifically Jewish hippie terrorists.
  152. @guest
    That's basically true, but as always with this sort of thing you must calibrate for time. Lewis' loathing could be considered gentle fondness compared to the way a contemporary progressive views the Babbitts of the world. Even Kingsblood Royal, where a heretofore regular white guy has his while world blown up because it's discovered he has black drops in his blood, would give an SJW fits for its depiction of blacks.

    Still, Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.

    Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.

    Oh, we should put ‘right’ in quotes, I do think. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the ‘right’ trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn’t on the ‘right’ side of history. Funny how that works, huh?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we’re not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Oh, we should put ‘right’ in quotes, I do think. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the ‘right’ trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn’t on the ‘right’ side of history. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    TS Eliot?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we’re not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.
    , @guest
    When I say "right trajectory" I mean the appropriate trajectory for someone to receive high literary honors and good press in the 20th century, and continue to be promoted up to the Current Year (though I have noticed him slipping lately, as I said in an above post). Which is to say, he was on the left trajectory.

    There probably are a lucky few reactionaries (in the eyes of the literary establishment) who slipped through. I'm not up on the personal politics of the big 20th century names, because I reflexively assume they're all lefties, neutrals, or closet cases. And if they're closet cases, it'll be difficult to get information on them.

    I have noticed various efforts by the right to capture big names, but those mostly amount to pathetic revisionism. Like, "Hey, Jack Keruac was Catholic. Score!" They feed off table scraps.

    That's for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.

  153. I read a few pages of The Plot Against America.

    Histrionic self pity utterly detached from reality.

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  154. @syonredux

    The Library of America, those people who put out those majesterial volumes of works (in miniscule print) that look like they’re trying to produce the definite version of various authorial oeuvres, have put out an 9-volume set of Roth, (yes, 9 full volumes), including one that just squees over Roth for being Roth. The rest of the American canon of authors gets 1 or 2 volumes from the LOA if they’re lucky, the poor bastards.
     
    Henry James gets 12 ( 5 volumes for the short fiction, 6 for the novels, one for autobiographical writings).

    https://www.loa.org/search-results?query=Henry+James

    William Faulkner gets 5

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/301-william-faulkner

    Mark Twain gets 8

    https://www.loa.org/books/writer/253-mark-twain

    One thing that’s always struck me is how weak Jews are when it comes to writing fiction. They produce plenty of top-tier scientists, respectable nonfiction writers, and their fair share of talented musicians, but good fiction writers? No. Every time I read a work of fiction by a Jewish author, I’m not impressed. There’s something about their genetics that just doesn’t lend itself to thinking up good stories.
     
    Dunno. The half-Jewish Proust's achievements are rather impressive.

    “Proust’s achievements are rather impressive”

    It is impressive to trick people into reading seven volumes of run-on sentences with all the normal narrative devices buried, if they’re present at all. Also, with no order discernable to anyone but people who make a living studying French literature. Or a living promoting modernism to the unenlightened.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    It is impressive to trick people into reading seven volumes of run-on sentences with all the normal narrative devices buried, if they’re present at all. Also, with no order discernable to anyone but people who make a living studying French literature. Or a living promoting modernism to the unenlightened.
     
    I like its immersive quality....

    Interestingly enough, Lovecraft (who, as a general rule, had little time for modernism), loved Proust and regarded Remembrance of Things Past/In Search of Lost Time as the greatest literary achievement of the 20th century....

    Of course, given HPL's interest in the corrosive nature of time (Cf such tales as At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow out of Time, "The Silver Key," etc), that's not too surprising.

  155. @Anonymous
    Upton Sinclair seems a logical choice for Roth. He was very down on Middle America and its parochial smallness, much like many Jewish writers.

    Sinclair Lewis, not Upton Sinclair. But the rest of your post applies, anyway.

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  156. @Altai

    What he’s really afraid of is that HE will be the one to be influenced and assimilated.
     
    This is the essential angst. The US, at the time large numbers of Eastern Jews will emigrating was absorbing lots of other groups who didn't have hundreds of years living as separate groups. They were all expected to assimilate into broader society. This may have led to greater expectations for Jews to assimilate than they had previously encountered in other host societies. That and every lurch and move into a new territory chipped away at the group cohesiveness. And god was dying his slow death at the time and was fully dead by the 60s, religion serving to naturally suppress intermarriage was gone.

    The Jews very existence is predicated on not assimilating, but before it was never a decision given to the individual in such a way. All the passive social forces that'd guide you were gone.

    All the passive social forces that’d guide you were gone.

    Bit of an overstatement.

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  157. @Steve Sailer
    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.

    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.

    I’ve always found it interesting that Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and John O’Hara were such acute observers of subtle social distinctions. Perhaps it has something to do with the slight layer of difference that was afforded by their non-WASP background. Almost WASPs, as it were, very similar but not quite the same.

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    • Replies: @guest
    I wouldn't put the Irish/WASP difference as slight or superficial. The Irish, much like Jews, were "latecomers to modernity." Irish culture obviously is closer to WASP culture than is American Jewish culture. The Irish were ruled by the English for centuries, even if they came from bogs. But it's not like we're talking about the difference between Jews and blacks, for instance.

    Fitzgerald was relatively WASPy because he was a snob and social climber who deliberately turned his back on his father's kind, though they were middle-class, in order to be a BMOC in an elite university and a famous man of letters. Which is to say he was an assimilator, who ran away from the shiftless drunks, machine politicians, slum dwellers, unscrupulous merchants, and gangsters making up the stereotype of his people.

    Jews could have done that at the same time, and of course many did. But the big literary names eventually produced by their kind stayed between assimilation and non-assimilation. Most of them were or at least depicted in their works neurotics who could neither slide back into the womb of the tribe or fully join the world beyond their kind. But they could have, like Fitzgerald, if they tried.

    Also, it must be said most of the people we're talking about came of age after WASP power was already on the decline. They were up against watered-down WASPiness at best.

    , @guest
    Fitzgerald and O'Hara, by the way, came of age when social distinction of the country club variety still mattered. I remember being surprised, when I first learned of it after seeing the movie Age of Innocence, that Edith Wharton wrote in the 20s. But the world of the 1870s wasn't utterly swept away by WWI, or what have you. It would have been in living memory for some people. And the watering-down of American culture and the fabrication of Ellis Island America wasn't yet complete.

    Still, that truly was a bygone era she described. Not so the worlds of Fitzgerald and O'Hara. They were intact, if not what they used to be.

    We have social distinctions with us now, of course, but they're different. (See: the Bell Curve.) The big Jewish names in American literature: Bellow, Malamud, Roth, etc., all published their stuff after WWII, when country club society was definitely slipping away, possibly never to return.

  158. @Thea
    I found Goodbye Columbus boring, depressing and meaningless. Did I miss something?

    Yes, you did.

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  159. @guest
    He was enough of a great artist to "flip the script" occasionally and make the big city folks look like the bumpkins or the provincial look sophisticated. But it wasn't any kind of even back-and-forth. There's no doubting which side he was on, and he wasn't with small-town America or the mid-west as a whole. He wasn't with reactionaries of any sort, whoever they may be.

    He was enough of a great artist to “flip the script” occasionally and make the big city folks look like the bumpkins or the provincial look sophisticated. But it wasn’t any kind of even back-and-forth. There’s no doubting which side he was on, and he wasn’t with small-town America or the mid-west as a whole.

    Yeah, on balance, he leaned more towards the negative pole when depicting life in the Mid West….but there was always a layer of affection towards Main Street in his work….His satire never reached Swiftian levels….

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  160. @Mika-Non

    Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.
     
    Oh, we should put 'right' in quotes, I do think. Lately I've finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the 'right' trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn't on the 'right' side of history. Funny how that works, huh?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we're not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?

    Oh, we should put ‘right’ in quotes, I do think. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the ‘right’ trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn’t on the ‘right’ side of history. Funny how that works, huh?

    TS Eliot?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we’re not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?

    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non

    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.
     
    News to me, which isn't saying it's not so. But where? Are you in the UK by chance? I'd find that easier to believe.
    , @Jack D
    Putting Pound in the nut house was going easy on him. The alternative was to execute him for treason.
    , @guest
    Eliot is American, I guess. But I think a lot of people think of him as English, much like James. (Actually, more than James.) In any case, though he was politically reactionary, and he tried to put that into his essays and criticism, and to a lesser degree in his work, he was also an aesthetic radical. And that's his prevailing legacy: a grand figure of modernism.
  161. @Dave Pinsen
    Harold Robbins gets name-checked by arguably the whitest band in the world.

    https://youtu.be/cuJ1AefhWzE

    Now, now. White as in skin color (Racist!) or as in culture (Also Racist!)?

    Squeeze made no bones about their musical origins in R&B. If you’re a fan at all, you’ll doubtless know about their concert intro segue from “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs right into the song you quote. The mesh is (deliberately) seamless. It’s a very ‘classy’ homage.

    Aww crap. Was it “Another Nail In My Heart”?? I can’t find it. Hope I didn’t dream it.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    Crap, I'm outside the edit window but it might have been "Time Is Tight" ... and 'In Quintessence' (At least I got the bands right :) )

    In a book about the band Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook said that he borrowed from Time is Tight for his song 'In Quintessence'
     
    , @Anonymous
    I sometimes wonder if popular musicians are encouraged to say that black musicians had a big influence on them. For instance, I once heard Faith Hill say she was greatly influenced by some black musicians, R&B, or something along those lines, but style-wise she seems like one of the whitest musicians around.
  162. @Hairway To Steven
    You've got some awful f***ing taste, chief.

    As for Roth, he's brilliant and funny, and there's been no one better since Nabokov. Who else has written great stuff in his or her seventies?

    Saul Bellow has. He’s majestic.

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  163. @Mika-Non

    Lewis was overall on the right trajectory.
     
    Oh, we should put 'right' in quotes, I do think. Lately I've finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the 'right' trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn't on the 'right' side of history. Funny how that works, huh?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we're not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?

    When I say “right trajectory” I mean the appropriate trajectory for someone to receive high literary honors and good press in the 20th century, and continue to be promoted up to the Current Year (though I have noticed him slipping lately, as I said in an above post). Which is to say, he was on the left trajectory.

    There probably are a lucky few reactionaries (in the eyes of the literary establishment) who slipped through. I’m not up on the personal politics of the big 20th century names, because I reflexively assume they’re all lefties, neutrals, or closet cases. And if they’re closet cases, it’ll be difficult to get information on them.

    I have noticed various efforts by the right to capture big names, but those mostly amount to pathetic revisionism. Like, “Hey, Jack Keruac was Catholic. Score!” They feed off table scraps.

    That’s for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    Kerouac was remarkably right-wing for a hero of the left.

    Assuming he's even a hero of the left.
    , @syonredux

    That’s for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.
     
    Well, as I mentioned upthread, Pound's very much in the canon. So that's one Yank reactionary. You can also toss in the American-turned-Brit Eliot. Then there are the Nashville Agrarians : Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, etc

    And Lovecraft's made it into the Library of America...
  164. @ATBOTL
    Phillip Roth is a talentless clown whose entire career is due to Jewish networking and self-promotion.

    “Phillip Roth is a talentless clown whose entire career is due to Jewish networking and self-promotion.”

    It should be easy for you then to write better novels than Roth. Can’t wait to read them.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Roth was a really good old writer, better than Updike at the same age. (Pretty much all famous later 20th Century American novelists were born around 1931, so they were all quite competitive with each other by age.) But for some reason, Roth pretty much wasted what should have been his prime in his 40s while Updike was getting a big lead on him.
    , @guest
    The above poster never said he wasn't a talentless-er clown.
    , @Paul Walker - Most beautiful man ever...
    "It should be easy for you then to write better novels than Roth. Can’t wait to read them."
    You'll never top "Neurotic jewish man chokes his chicken till the life force ebbs out of him." :)
  165. @Mika-Non
    Now, now. White as in skin color (Racist!) or as in culture (Also Racist!)?

    Squeeze made no bones about their musical origins in R&B. If you're a fan at all, you'll doubtless know about their concert intro segue from "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MGs right into the song you quote. The mesh is (deliberately) seamless. It's a very 'classy' homage.

    Aww crap. Was it "Another Nail In My Heart"?? I can't find it. Hope I didn't dream it.

    Crap, I’m outside the edit window but it might have been “Time Is Tight” … and ‘In Quintessence’ (At least I got the bands right :) )

    In a book about the band Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook said that he borrowed from Time is Tight for his song ‘In Quintessence’

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Quintessence#Background

    Tilbrook stated, "Musically it was my tip of the hat to Elvis [Costello]. He'd borrowed the riff from 'Time Is Tight' and used it on a song called 'Temptation'. I thought it would be funny to use that riff again for 'In Quintessence' and expand it."[1]

    Although the rest of East Side Story was produced by Elvis Costello, this track was produced instead by Dave Edmunds.
     

    In Quintessence
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icp59yf26Io

    Temptation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiU5tSyDyhU

    Booker T. & The MG's - Time Is Tight
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xx1_CbJTI

  166. @syonredux

    Oh, we should put ‘right’ in quotes, I do think. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the ‘right’ trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn’t on the ‘right’ side of history. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    TS Eliot?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we’re not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

    News to me, which isn’t saying it’s not so. But where? Are you in the UK by chance? I’d find that easier to believe.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

    News to me, which isn’t saying it’s not so. But where? Are you in the UK by chance? I’d find that easier to believe.
     
    Nope. The USA. Went to Berkeley, and had Hugh Selwyn Mauberley on the syllabus in two different courses (one was a survey, the other a senior seminar). Might also add that a section from Hugh Selwyn Mauberley was on the GRE Lit test that I took to get into Grad school. People might not like Pound's politics, but he's too important to ignore.
  167. @guest
    When I say "right trajectory" I mean the appropriate trajectory for someone to receive high literary honors and good press in the 20th century, and continue to be promoted up to the Current Year (though I have noticed him slipping lately, as I said in an above post). Which is to say, he was on the left trajectory.

    There probably are a lucky few reactionaries (in the eyes of the literary establishment) who slipped through. I'm not up on the personal politics of the big 20th century names, because I reflexively assume they're all lefties, neutrals, or closet cases. And if they're closet cases, it'll be difficult to get information on them.

    I have noticed various efforts by the right to capture big names, but those mostly amount to pathetic revisionism. Like, "Hey, Jack Keruac was Catholic. Score!" They feed off table scraps.

    That's for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.

    Kerouac was remarkably right-wing for a hero of the left.

    Assuming he’s even a hero of the left.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Kerouac was remarkably right-wing for a hero of the left.

    Assuming he’s even a hero of the left.
     
    Well, he was sodomized by Gore Vidal.....
  168. @guest
    "Proust's achievements are rather impressive"

    It is impressive to trick people into reading seven volumes of run-on sentences with all the normal narrative devices buried, if they're present at all. Also, with no order discernable to anyone but people who make a living studying French literature. Or a living promoting modernism to the unenlightened.

    It is impressive to trick people into reading seven volumes of run-on sentences with all the normal narrative devices buried, if they’re present at all. Also, with no order discernable to anyone but people who make a living studying French literature. Or a living promoting modernism to the unenlightened.

    I like its immersive quality….

    Interestingly enough, Lovecraft (who, as a general rule, had little time for modernism), loved Proust and regarded Remembrance of Things Past/In Search of Lost Time as the greatest literary achievement of the 20th century….

    Of course, given HPL’s interest in the corrosive nature of time (Cf such tales as At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow out of Time, “The Silver Key,” etc), that’s not too surprising.

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  169. @syonredux

    Have you read The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove?
     
    Yep. Gotta say, though, I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined....

    “I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined….”

    Nonsense. Late James is definitely not for everyone. I love those three novels but that’s because I’m an obsessive type. I love The Aspern Papers, which is, of course, a story of obsession. Have you read ‘Europe’? An excellent horror story, also about obsession. James resolved his “mommy issues” rather neatly. He was apparently his parents’ favorite child and on a conscious level, adored his mother, always referring to her reverently. He then proceeded to create some truly horrifying
    maternal characters.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Nonsense. Late James is definitely not for everyone. I love those three novels but that’s because I’m an obsessive type. I love The Aspern Papers, which is, of course, a story of obsession. Have you read ‘Europe’? An excellent horror story, also about obsession. James resolved his “mommy issues” rather neatly. He was apparently his parents’ favorite child and on a conscious level, adored his mother, always referring to her reverently. He then proceeded to create some truly horrifying
    maternal characters.
     
    I also love The Aspern Papers. Of James' novellas, it's my favorite. I've never read "Europe." Seeing as how I like James' ghostly tales (although not as much as I like the ones by his quasi-namesake, MR James), I'll be sure to give it a try.
  170. @syonredux

    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.
     
    I've always found it interesting that Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and John O'Hara were such acute observers of subtle social distinctions. Perhaps it has something to do with the slight layer of difference that was afforded by their non-WASP background. Almost WASPs, as it were, very similar but not quite the same.

    I wouldn’t put the Irish/WASP difference as slight or superficial. The Irish, much like Jews, were “latecomers to modernity.” Irish culture obviously is closer to WASP culture than is American Jewish culture. The Irish were ruled by the English for centuries, even if they came from bogs. But it’s not like we’re talking about the difference between Jews and blacks, for instance.

    Fitzgerald was relatively WASPy because he was a snob and social climber who deliberately turned his back on his father’s kind, though they were middle-class, in order to be a BMOC in an elite university and a famous man of letters. Which is to say he was an assimilator, who ran away from the shiftless drunks, machine politicians, slum dwellers, unscrupulous merchants, and gangsters making up the stereotype of his people.

    Jews could have done that at the same time, and of course many did. But the big literary names eventually produced by their kind stayed between assimilation and non-assimilation. Most of them were or at least depicted in their works neurotics who could neither slide back into the womb of the tribe or fully join the world beyond their kind. But they could have, like Fitzgerald, if they tried.

    Also, it must be said most of the people we’re talking about came of age after WASP power was already on the decline. They were up against watered-down WASPiness at best.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I wouldn’t put the Irish/WASP difference as slight or superficial. The Irish, much like Jews, were “latecomers to modernity.” Irish culture obviously is closer to WASP culture than is American Jewish culture. The Irish were ruled by the English for centuries, even if they came from bogs. But it’s not like we’re talking about the difference between Jews and blacks, for instance.

     

    Well that's what I'm talking about. The differences between Irish Catholics and WASPs are real enough, but they are not nearly as great as the differences between WASPs and Jews or WASPs and Italians. Hence, Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and O'Hara had a sense of being half-in, half-out of WASP society.And that can be a good vantage point for a writer.....
  171. @guest
    When I say "right trajectory" I mean the appropriate trajectory for someone to receive high literary honors and good press in the 20th century, and continue to be promoted up to the Current Year (though I have noticed him slipping lately, as I said in an above post). Which is to say, he was on the left trajectory.

    There probably are a lucky few reactionaries (in the eyes of the literary establishment) who slipped through. I'm not up on the personal politics of the big 20th century names, because I reflexively assume they're all lefties, neutrals, or closet cases. And if they're closet cases, it'll be difficult to get information on them.

    I have noticed various efforts by the right to capture big names, but those mostly amount to pathetic revisionism. Like, "Hey, Jack Keruac was Catholic. Score!" They feed off table scraps.

    That's for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.

    That’s for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.

    Well, as I mentioned upthread, Pound’s very much in the canon. So that’s one Yank reactionary. You can also toss in the American-turned-Brit Eliot. Then there are the Nashville Agrarians : Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, etc

    And Lovecraft’s made it into the Library of America…

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    • Replies: @guest
    Pound is sorta half-in, half-out of the canon. He's "problematic," and Eliot grabs the lion's share of his fame. Eliot is one I grant you.

    As for the Agrarians, not counting Warren, you extend them far too much credit. They were widely acknowledged in the mid-20th century, but they're being forgotten now. I couldn't find a decent Ransom in print a few years ago when I looked. Tate is remembered only for Ode to the Confederate Dead.

    Nowadays you're as likely to hear of the Agrarians as being CIA stooges during the Cold War as hear of them in any other context. Unless you're into academic fights over poetics, and there they take what might be called a reactionary stance. But it's also thoroughly modernistic, in my opinion. Which just makes them the right wing of modernism, along with Eliot and Pound.

    Anyway, all of that is far beyond what interests most people. Unless you read I'll Take My Stand, you won't learn much about their anti-Yankeeisms. And that book is not widely known anymore.

    Warren is an exception, as he's still popular. But I have absolutely no notion of his politics outside what I learned from reading his books, and they're ambiguous.

    , @guest
    Lovecraft I'll grant you as well. But bear in mind though he's on his way to being accepted into the class of High Literature, he's not yet there. He's still considered a genre writer. Within that genre, he's got trouble. There have been efforts to unperson him for his reactionary views.
  172. @Mika-Non

    The change in admission criteria was done expressly so that they could cut down on the number of Jews getting in.
     
    To stick just with Karabel, he concludes that the Ivy League college admissions committees were specifically concerned with accepting too many of what we now call 'nerds' 'grinds' and pocket-protector, bespectacled types who had never spent time on an athletic playing field. They may present good grades and even stellar test scores but generally they did not represent the well-rounded leadership qualities most definitely being sought.

    Were the adcoms right to share this emphasis? Perhaps--why would it not be within their purview to consider what Karabel quotes them as calling 'the whole boy' rather than a couple of quantitative measures? And would this (in fact, did this) emphasis redound to the detriment of urban, public-school applicants, many of whom were Jews? It appears so. But the fact (which Karabel documents persuasively) that Ivy adcoms looked for leadership qualities as much or more than for grades and standardized test scores does not present a case for anti-semitism--even if fewer Jews were admitted as a result.


    The current foul system of Affirmative Action is really just a continuation of early 20th century racism, just with the victims this time being whites and Asians (especially Asians) instead of Jews.
     
    Hmm... I wonder if you've read anything by, say, Ron Unz. His extensive research shows the exact opposite of your 'whites and Asians (especially Asians)' claim. And that not only aren't Jews being 'victims' they are profiting beyond all reason at everyone else's expense--but especially and particularly at the expense of 'gentile' whites. Yes, I know you know this.

    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to “leadership” and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in. Only when Jews started showing up in large numbers did it become urgent to consider “the whole boy”. The complaints sound exactly like those leveled against Asians today.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non

    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to “leadership” and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in.
     
    A series of unsupported assertions, to put it kindly. The most ridiculous of which is that leadership, athleticism etc were not considered before--when, the 1890s? They were always considered, just to varying degrees. I wouldn't want my college taken over by nerdy, pasty pencil-necks either! We have Cornell and MIT for that.

    Gotta love how the wealthiest, most powerful minority in America is loudest about its supposed victimisation. I suppose that serves a purpose, eh?
    , @black sea

    The complaints sound exactly like those leveled against Asians today.

     

    Since this thread seems to have gone in about six different directions at this point:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/mollyhensleyclancy/asians-very-familiar-profiles-princeton?utm_term=.kgvPpJV3K#.fq2jD9Bek
  173. @syonredux

    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.
     
    I've always found it interesting that Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and John O'Hara were such acute observers of subtle social distinctions. Perhaps it has something to do with the slight layer of difference that was afforded by their non-WASP background. Almost WASPs, as it were, very similar but not quite the same.

    Fitzgerald and O’Hara, by the way, came of age when social distinction of the country club variety still mattered. I remember being surprised, when I first learned of it after seeing the movie Age of Innocence, that Edith Wharton wrote in the 20s. But the world of the 1870s wasn’t utterly swept away by WWI, or what have you. It would have been in living memory for some people. And the watering-down of American culture and the fabrication of Ellis Island America wasn’t yet complete.

    Still, that truly was a bygone era she described. Not so the worlds of Fitzgerald and O’Hara. They were intact, if not what they used to be.

    We have social distinctions with us now, of course, but they’re different. (See: the Bell Curve.) The big Jewish names in American literature: Bellow, Malamud, Roth, etc., all published their stuff after WWII, when country club society was definitely slipping away, possibly never to return.

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  174. @syonredux

    Oh, we should put ‘right’ in quotes, I do think. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the ‘right’ trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn’t on the ‘right’ side of history. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    TS Eliot?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we’re not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

    Putting Pound in the nut house was going easy on him. The alternative was to execute him for treason.

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    • Disagree: James Richard
    • Replies: @guest
    "The alternative was to execute him for treason"

    Which would have been plain murder.

    You know what other alternative was available? Not arresting him. They couldn't consider that because...

  175. @Dave Pinsen
    Harold Robbins gets name-checked by arguably the whitest band in the world.

    https://youtu.be/cuJ1AefhWzE

    Whenever I hear “Harold Robbins” I think of that Squeeze song. For the record, Squeeze were/is/are quite soulful.

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    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    No question, blue-eyed soul. And great summer music.
  176. @Mika-Non
    The number of Swedes who have dedicated their lives to hijacking and destroying everything that was good about the American nation is vanishingly small.

    The number of Swedes who have dedicated their lives to hijacking and destroying everything that was good about the American nation is vanishingly small.

    But they include Lindbergh, who would have, if he could get away with it, imported Nazism into America. *Everyone’s* got a hidden agenda. Of course, some of the commenters here would have cheered him on. During the war, Lindbergh had no issues fighting Japanese untermenschen, but he drew the line at fighting his Jew- and Slav-exterminating Aryan herrenvolk. He was a man of his time, only more so.

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    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    It's probably useless to point out to you that 1) Lindbergh was just one man and 2) Japan, not Germany, attacked the USA.

    Lindbergh was a patriot and was concerned with what was good for America. Not what might be good for Swedish people. That you believe his life was devoted to destroying everything that was good about America says a lot more about you than it says about Lindbergh.

    , @James Richard
    What horse shit. Charles Lindbergh was a genuine American hero who appreciated German efficiency (Schacht's economic plan bootstrapped them out of the Great Depression while Roosevelt's socialism dug us deeper into the economic abyss) and he was particularly and rightfully impressed with German technical prowess especially in aeronautics.

    Quit slandering a great American who tried to keep us out of that drunken war-monger Churchill's war.
    , @Hanoi Paris Hilton
    Oh pull-eeeze, Herr Ricke!
  177. @syonredux

    Oh, we should put ‘right’ in quotes, I do think. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to reading Faulkner, and lo and behold he was on the ‘right’ trajectory too, as were Fitzgerald, Hemingway, McCullers, Porter, Hellman; I daresay any and all authors who received the imprimatur of the Publishing Gods and their compatriots in the mass-media empires. I struggle to find a celebrated author from the 20th century who wasn’t on the ‘right’ side of history. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    TS Eliot?

    There was Ezra Pound, right? But he had to leave the country, was committed to an asylum for teh crazy, and we’re not allowed to read him anymore. Funny how that works, huh?
     
    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

    Eliot is American, I guess. But I think a lot of people think of him as English, much like James. (Actually, more than James.) In any case, though he was politically reactionary, and he tried to put that into his essays and criticism, and to a lesser degree in his work, he was also an aesthetic radical. And that’s his prevailing legacy: a grand figure of modernism.

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  178. @Jack D
    Putting Pound in the nut house was going easy on him. The alternative was to execute him for treason.

    “The alternative was to execute him for treason”

    Which would have been plain murder.

    You know what other alternative was available? Not arresting him. They couldn’t consider that because…

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    “The alternative was to execute him for treason”

    Which would have been plain murder.
     
    Murder is a type of unlawful killing. Nothing unlawful about executing someone for treason. The British did it to William Joyce aka Lord Haw Haw.
    , @Jack D

    They couldn’t consider that because…

     

    he had given aid and comfort to America's enemies? because he had made broadcasts on enemy radio intended to undermine the morale of American troops? because he had likened Hitler to Joan of Arc and consider him a saint?

    Pound really thrived in the nuthouse. It wasn't that different than being at a university.

  179. @Jack D
    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to "leadership" and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in. Only when Jews started showing up in large numbers did it become urgent to consider "the whole boy". The complaints sound exactly like those leveled against Asians today.

    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to “leadership” and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in.

    A series of unsupported assertions, to put it kindly. The most ridiculous of which is that leadership, athleticism etc were not considered before–when, the 1890s? They were always considered, just to varying degrees. I wouldn’t want my college taken over by nerdy, pasty pencil-necks either! We have Cornell and MIT for that.

    Gotta love how the wealthiest, most powerful minority in America is loudest about its supposed victimisation. I suppose that serves a purpose, eh?

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Read Karabel's books. Admission to Harvard was by test - if you passed the cutoff on the test, you were in. They would start at the top scorers and work their way down until the class was full. That's how they ended up with a 30% Jewish class in 1925. This is how it works in a lot of countries with no racial BS (e.g. Japan). Who gives a f*ck if you were the head of the basket weaving club or can play rugby - they'd rather take somebody who is just plain smarter than you.
    , @Hairway To Steven

    I wouldn’t want my college taken over by nerdy, pasty pencil-necks either! We have Cornell and MIT for that.
     
    Cornell? Surely you jest. OK, maybe Chicago or Harvey Mudd, but... Cornell? The low-SAT-scoring Ivy League Ag school?
  180. Oh well. My comments are being held up by moderation. I’ll come back later to see if they’re posted; otherwise I’m wasting my time here.

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  181. @3g4me
    Jack D, you see oddly certain that your interpretation of America better concurs with what its Founders intended than anyone else can conceive. Sort of like so many Jewish and Negro "constitutional lawyers" who have told us all what the Constitution really meant, rather than what it said. Yet somehow you slip up and admit that your imaginary America was "the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. " Of course, the post-Civil War Amendments were in many ways antithetical to what the Founders intended and explicitly wrote.

    And, of course, all those native born, true-blue Jewish "citizens" made certain of their rights from the get go, including rioting in New York over schools' Christmas observances and, in 1907, getting the very name of Christ banned from all songs and textbooks, and ensuring Christmas was referred to as merely "Good-time day." Deja vu all over again, as they say. But do go on, Jack, and inform us, like Philip Roth, how Jewish immigrants felt such great devotion to America that they went to herculean efforts to ensure it was recreated in their own image.

    Right, because Christmas is mentioned all over the place in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin – appealing to Jesus was what they were all about. It’s all over their writings – Jeebus this and Jeebus that. Oh wait, no it wasn’t.

    Slavery was America’s original sin. The Founding Fathers, even the ones who were slave holders knew it but they were not powerful enough to overcome the vast economic interests. They knew it was going to bite America in the ass one day but there was nothing they could do about it except kick the can down the road. Think of the vested interests in the health care debate and multiply by ten.

    Forgetting about what they were THINKING, if you look at just actions, all the anti-Semitic crap of the late 19th century onward – the restricted hotels and clubs and universities, etc. simply didn’t exist in the founding era. If they were thinking about discriminating against Jews they sure didn’t do much about it.

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    • Replies: @3g4me
    You do seem to love moving goal posts, don't you? While Jesus or explicit Christian identity is nowhere found in the Constitution (the Declaration was rhetoric and propaganda and is not a legal document) - and, by the by, none of which I mention in my comment - neither was the use or mention of such in any way illegal or unconstitutional, far less "un-American." The culture and people were explicitly Anglo-Saxon, Christian, and markedly Protestant. For a number of years after the Constitution was ratified, each sovereign state had its own office-holding or voter requirements which predated the Constitution and specified things not found in the Constitution (such that a candidate for state office must be a believing Christian), yet were in no way unconstitutional nor overturned by the Constitution's ratification. These sovereign state requirements were later challenged, in many cases first by Jews, seeking to influence those states' direction and/or control over a largely Christian population.

    Specifically, my comment referred to Jews' public and successful campaign to remove the very mention of Jesus or Christmas or Christianity from New York public school textbooks and classrooms. Nowhere in the Constitution is any mention made of public schools or federal edicts requiring what may and may not be taught. The schools were largely cultural institutions to begin with (before Horace Greeley and Thomas Dewey reworked them) and thus reflected the nation's people and culture. Jews were immigrants - by definition, guests - who immediately proceeded to demand the host alter his identity to better conform to the guest's conceptions of "Americanism" and "constitutionality." New Haven, CT, too, banned Christmas Carols (and those anti-semitic Americans complained " . . . now the Jews demand we give up our Christmas traditions . . . We have a right to our religion) but Minneapolis merely noted how New York rabbis said "I say let them have their games, plays, and bring the poetry of winter into schools . . . but as a Jew and a citizen I say let there be . . . nothing Christian . . . ". How magnanimous - and how prescient considering today's schools and malls and stores invite us all to celebrate the "winter" holidays. A rabbi in Chicago asked Christians to have patience with and understanding for the Jews' protests, because "Christmas in Russia is a day of fear and trembling . . . when no Jewish woman is safe from insult and the men fear for their lives." Amazing how I never realized that Russia men would haunt the town on Christmas seeking Jewish women to "insult." A Denver rabbi proclaimed that "American ideals are not the product of Christianity. Justice and righteousness, love and brotherhood are the never ceasing demands of the old Hebrew legislators and prophets." An early appearance of the "Judeo-Christian nation" myth!

    As for slavery being America's "original sin," shades of Condoleeza Rice. One doesn't find such a phrase anywhere in the Constitution or the Declaration you so love to cite. And as far as restricted hotels, clubs, universities "in the founding era," surely even you would admit the tiny number of Jews in America and their knowledge of their minority guest status perhaps mitigated against any instincts to protest Christian conventions Not to mention, of course, that Harvard and Yale were both founded to train Christian pastors and, I believe, still largely hewed to those ideals at the time of Washington and Jefferson.

    You do not argue in good faith or based on facts, but merely emote "Jewy Jewy Jewy Jew," as others have noted, akin to Derbyshire's exemplar re Negroes. Why gee, there's something else you victims all have in common.

    I will assume this will go to moderation; when and if it is printed, don't bother to reply as I shan't be checking this thread again. Your created news and history have already been well rebutted by others here.
  182. @syonredux

    That’s for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.
     
    Well, as I mentioned upthread, Pound's very much in the canon. So that's one Yank reactionary. You can also toss in the American-turned-Brit Eliot. Then there are the Nashville Agrarians : Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, etc

    And Lovecraft's made it into the Library of America...

    Pound is sorta half-in, half-out of the canon. He’s “problematic,” and Eliot grabs the lion’s share of his fame. Eliot is one I grant you.

    As for the Agrarians, not counting Warren, you extend them far too much credit. They were widely acknowledged in the mid-20th century, but they’re being forgotten now. I couldn’t find a decent Ransom in print a few years ago when I looked. Tate is remembered only for Ode to the Confederate Dead.

    Nowadays you’re as likely to hear of the Agrarians as being CIA stooges during the Cold War as hear of them in any other context. Unless you’re into academic fights over poetics, and there they take what might be called a reactionary stance. But it’s also thoroughly modernistic, in my opinion. Which just makes them the right wing of modernism, along with Eliot and Pound.

    Anyway, all of that is far beyond what interests most people. Unless you read I’ll Take My Stand, you won’t learn much about their anti-Yankeeisms. And that book is not widely known anymore.

    Warren is an exception, as he’s still popular. But I have absolutely no notion of his politics outside what I learned from reading his books, and they’re ambiguous.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Pound is sorta half-in, half-out of the canon
     
    Trust me. He's in. He's too important to ignore. Influenced too many people (Joyce, Hemingway, Eliot).

    Anyway, all of that is far beyond what interests most people. Unless you read I’ll Take My Stand, you won’t learn much about their anti-Yankeeisms. And that book is not widely known anymore.
     
    Had it assigned in my grad seminar on Lit of the interwar years.

    Warren is an exception, as he’s still popular. But I have absolutely no notion of his politics outside what I learned from reading his books, and they’re ambiguous.
     
    Eh. Art is about ambiguity. When ambiguity is gone, you're left with a screed.
  183. @Mika-Non
    We (more specifically you) need a Jewish version of John Derbyshire's "Black Black Blackety Black!"

    Trust me that I don’t spend my days obsessing about the Joos, but some commenters here seem to. I’m remind of what John Hay said about his friend Henry Adams. When Adams “saw Vesuvius reddening… [he] searched for a Jew stoking the fire.” If y’all are just trolls looking to piss me off, it’s working, but I’m afraid that you actually believe this crap. I know you’re irredeemable but I hate to let your twisted views go without rebuttal ’cause of the young ‘uns.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Mika-Non
    Alas, the facts keep getting in your way. That must be frustrating. You have my condolences--now get about creating a corollary to Mr Derbyshire's clever line. It'll save you a ton of typing.
  184. @Mika-Non
    Everyone's tastes are different, but I feel constrained to note Art Garfunkel's astounding vocal instrument. Even if Simon weren't a great songwriter (with whatever failings included) Art's voice would remain noteworthy.

    Meanwhile, I can see how Simon's work grates on some, and he does pursue an 'agenda'--moreover the quality of his songwriting varies dramatically. But at his best he was something of a genius. IMHO of course.

    Even if Simon weren’t a great songwriter (with whatever failings included) Art’s voice would remain noteworthy.

    You are not kidding. Garfunkel was great. Elvis covered the above, and did an awesome job… but IMO Garfunkel did it better. Garfunkel could even make a Norwood 4A look good.

    I remember a college friend who used to rag on Garfunkel, stating that without Simon he would have been nothing. That’s a juvenile viewpoint – that because anyone can sing (unlike those who can play an instrument, or are seen to play an intstrument in a band), that everyone can sing well. Or that the singer contributes little to the success of a band, or their songs.

    I think as one gets older in life, one learns to appreciate singers who can sing well and what they bring to a piece of music.

    I started off listening to S&G with “best ofs”, so skipped their more political stuff I guess. I guess they covered Dylan’s “Times, they are a changin”. Unlike Dylan/Zimmerman, the typical lyrics don’t rub me up the wrong way. I just read the lyrics of that… “Enjoy your whitopia while you can, Kulaks!” Oh well, just one song and it was a cover.

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  185. @syonredux

    That’s for Americans, anyway. You can find non-American reactionaries in the modern canon, like Waugh.
     
    Well, as I mentioned upthread, Pound's very much in the canon. So that's one Yank reactionary. You can also toss in the American-turned-Brit Eliot. Then there are the Nashville Agrarians : Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, etc

    And Lovecraft's made it into the Library of America...

    Lovecraft I’ll grant you as well. But bear in mind though he’s on his way to being accepted into the class of High Literature, he’s not yet there. He’s still considered a genre writer. Within that genre, he’s got trouble. There have been efforts to unperson him for his reactionary views.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Lovecraft I’ll grant you as well. But bear in mind though he’s on his way to being accepted into the class of High Literature, he’s not yet there. He’s still considered a genre writer. Within that genre, he’s got trouble. There have been efforts to unperson him for his reactionary views.
     
    I know. I've commented on the campaign waged against him. Blacks really, really hate HPL.
  186. @Steve Sailer
    Irish Catholics, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were less excluded from WASP high society than were numerous other Europeans, but they tend to complain about it more now. Poles, for example, are almost completely silent about whatever indignities they had to put up with.

    Scott was two things that the vast majority of Irish Catholics in America were not, which allowed him into WASP corridors that they could not imagine. One, he was far from poor. WASP Elites hate poor white gentiles. Second, he was kin to Francis Scott Key.

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  187. @Herzog
    "Phillip Roth is a talentless clown whose entire career is due to Jewish networking and self-promotion."

    It should be easy for you then to write better novels than Roth. Can't wait to read them.

    Roth was a really good old writer, better than Updike at the same age. (Pretty much all famous later 20th Century American novelists were born around 1931, so they were all quite competitive with each other by age.) But for some reason, Roth pretty much wasted what should have been his prime in his 40s while Updike was getting a big lead on him.

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  188. @Johann Ricke

    The number of Swedes who have dedicated their lives to hijacking and destroying everything that was good about the American nation is vanishingly small.
     
    But they include Lindbergh, who would have, if he could get away with it, imported Nazism into America. *Everyone's* got a hidden agenda. Of course, some of the commenters here would have cheered him on. During the war, Lindbergh had no issues fighting Japanese untermenschen, but he drew the line at fighting his Jew- and Slav-exterminating Aryan herrenvolk. He was a man of his time, only more so.

    It’s probably useless to point out to you that 1) Lindbergh was just one man and 2) Japan, not Germany, attacked the USA.

    Lindbergh was a patriot and was concerned with what was good for America. Not what might be good for Swedish people. That you believe his life was devoted to destroying everything that was good about America says a lot more about you than it says about Lindbergh.

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  189. @guest
    "The alternative was to execute him for treason"

    Which would have been plain murder.

    You know what other alternative was available? Not arresting him. They couldn't consider that because...

    “The alternative was to execute him for treason”

    Which would have been plain murder.

    Murder is a type of unlawful killing. Nothing unlawful about executing someone for treason. The British did it to William Joyce aka Lord Haw Haw.

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    • Replies: @guest
    "Nothing unlawful about executing someone for treason"

    There is if they weren't treasonous and you try them unlawfully. Ever heard of judicial murder?

    "The British did it to...Lord Haw Haw"

    And what a model of justice was that case.
  190. @Jack D
    Trust me that I don't spend my days obsessing about the Joos, but some commenters here seem to. I'm remind of what John Hay said about his friend Henry Adams. When Adams "saw Vesuvius reddening... [he] searched for a Jew stoking the fire." If y'all are just trolls looking to piss me off, it's working, but I'm afraid that you actually believe this crap. I know you're irredeemable but I hate to let your twisted views go without rebuttal 'cause of the young 'uns.

    Alas, the facts keep getting in your way. That must be frustrating. You have my condolences–now get about creating a corollary to Mr Derbyshire’s clever line. It’ll save you a ton of typing.

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  191. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Whenever I hear "Harold Robbins" I think of that Squeeze song. For the record, Squeeze were/is/are quite soulful.

    No question, blue-eyed soul. And great summer music.

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  192. @Mika-Non

    The Jews controlled the kosher deli market and had a few synagogues
     
    Let's just ignore Jewish investment banking, shall we? Kuhn, Loeb (founded in 1867); J & W Seligman (founded in 1864); Goldman Sachs (1869); and Lehman Brothers (1850). Let's not talk about publishing, retail, movies and television, right? You are becoming ever more comical--and quickly.

    Upthread I quoted Jerome Karabel's finding that Jews had 'achieved' 30% of Harvard's enrollment by 1925. Yet a quick internet search shows hundreds of thousands of hits on "Jews excluded from Ivy League before 1965".

    But here you (and others) are busy quoting your Uncle Milton saying his neighbor's wife's grandfather was blackballed at some country club.

    It becomes clear where American blacks got their habit of 'retconning' made-up 'facts' in order to justify their anti-white animus. At least blacks had a point at one time.

    Jerome Karabel’s finding that Jews had ‘achieved’ 30% of Harvard’s enrollment by 1925. Yet a quick internet search shows hundreds of thousands of hits on “Jews excluded from Ivy League before 1965″.

    These two data points are not at all contradictory because Harvard put its anti-Jewish admission policies into place AFTER 1925. By 1933 Jewish enrollment at Harvard had been cut in half and even more at Princeton and Yale.

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  193. @Mika-Non

    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to “leadership” and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in.
     
    A series of unsupported assertions, to put it kindly. The most ridiculous of which is that leadership, athleticism etc were not considered before--when, the 1890s? They were always considered, just to varying degrees. I wouldn't want my college taken over by nerdy, pasty pencil-necks either! We have Cornell and MIT for that.

    Gotta love how the wealthiest, most powerful minority in America is loudest about its supposed victimisation. I suppose that serves a purpose, eh?

    Read Karabel’s books. Admission to Harvard was by test – if you passed the cutoff on the test, you were in. They would start at the top scorers and work their way down until the class was full. That’s how they ended up with a 30% Jewish class in 1925. This is how it works in a lot of countries with no racial BS (e.g. Japan). Who gives a f*ck if you were the head of the basket weaving club or can play rugby – they’d rather take somebody who is just plain smarter than you.

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  194. @Jack D
    Of course, compared to where their ancestors came from, America was paradise - the Golden Land. But that's a low bar - America is better than shitty countries like Russia. Of course it is. America is a Great Experiment - it's supposed to be a place where we are always trying to form a MORE PERFECT union, the New World where the accident of birth is not supposed to define us and every man is free to achieve his potential. A country where people were segregated by race, religion and caste (Northern elites hated working class whites and other ethnics perhaps even more than they hated Jews, they just didn't have to compete with them as much in the halls of Harvard) in contravention of the spirit (and barely skirting the letter) of our founding documents was not what I would call a more perfect union. From late 19th century to the end of WWII, America went backward in many regards and in ways that Madison, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc. would have found horrifying - it was not a country where the "better angels" ruled.

    Fair enough, but it’s worth noting that immigrants are making not just a choice between their previous and new country. They are also implicitly choosing their new country over all of the other possibilities they might have immigrated to.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Jews thought (still think) that America was not only better than Russia, but that it was the greatest country on earth. Roth said as much.

    I think this is a cultural difference between Jews and non-Jews. Non-Jews think that if you complain about something, that means you don't like it. If your overall assessment is positive, you say that X is "great" and leave it at that. It's rude to tell you host, "the soup was good but next time, it could use a little less salt." Jews think, X is good but it could be better if Y was different and I will make this known. If I don't, how will X ever improve?
  195. @Lot

    but good fiction writers? No
     
    I have not read a novel since I was forced to in college, so I am not one to judge. However, here's a list of the world's ten best selling English language authors.

    Agatha Christie - English
    William Shakespeare - English
    Barbara Cartland - English
    Danielle Steel - Half Jewish Half Portuguese
    Harold Robbins - Jewish
    Sidney Sheldon - Jewish
    Enid Blyton - English
    J. K. Rowling - English, minor French ancestry
    Dr. Suess - German American
    Gilbert Patten - English American

    So 2.5 of the top 10 indicates a lot of ability to write what the public wants to buy. Also on the list are #11 Jackie Collins (half Jewish/half English), #13 R.L. Stine (Midwestern Jewish), #23 Stan and Jan Berenstain (Jewish-American husband and English-American wife, raised their children Jewish).

    Best-selling certainly does not mean quality. Shakespeare and (maybe) Agatha Christie are the only ones worth reading if you’re no longer a teenager.

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  196. @Old Palo Altan
    An interesting and eclectic list.
    Has anyone here read Knut Hamsun? He re-invented the novel, and his early works, once read, remain with one for a lifetime.

    Isaac Bashevis Singer was a big fan and fulsomely praised him in 1967 despite Hamsun at age 80 having supported the German takeover of Norway in 1940 and giving his Nobel prize medal to Joseph Goebbels as a gift!

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  197. @guest
    "The alternative was to execute him for treason"

    Which would have been plain murder.

    You know what other alternative was available? Not arresting him. They couldn't consider that because...

    They couldn’t consider that because…

    he had given aid and comfort to America’s enemies? because he had made broadcasts on enemy radio intended to undermine the morale of American troops? because he had likened Hitler to Joan of Arc and consider him a saint?

    Pound really thrived in the nuthouse. It wasn’t that different than being at a university.

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  198. @Mika-Non

    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.
     
    News to me, which isn't saying it's not so. But where? Are you in the UK by chance? I'd find that easier to believe.

    Hugh Selwyn Mauberley is frequently assigned in Lit courses.

    News to me, which isn’t saying it’s not so. But where? Are you in the UK by chance? I’d find that easier to believe.

    Nope. The USA. Went to Berkeley, and had Hugh Selwyn Mauberley on the syllabus in two different courses (one was a survey, the other a senior seminar). Might also add that a section from Hugh Selwyn Mauberley was on the GRE Lit test that I took to get into Grad school. People might not like Pound’s politics, but he’s too important to ignore.

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  199. @res
    Fair enough, but it's worth noting that immigrants are making not just a choice between their previous and new country. They are also implicitly choosing their new country over all of the other possibilities they might have immigrated to.

    Jews thought (still think) that America was not only better than Russia, but that it was the greatest country on earth. Roth said as much.

    I think this is a cultural difference between Jews and non-Jews. Non-Jews think that if you complain about something, that means you don’t like it. If your overall assessment is positive, you say that X is “great” and leave it at that. It’s rude to tell you host, “the soup was good but next time, it could use a little less salt.” Jews think, X is good but it could be better if Y was different and I will make this known. If I don’t, how will X ever improve?

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    • Replies: @Hairway To Steven
    Yup. Spot on.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican

    … how will X ever improve?
     
    The problem is that the “improvements” (like throwing the doors open to wretched refuse, “nudging” the plebs away from the First Amendment and cash currency, etc.) are likely to prove fatal to the host in the long run. And the covetous, oh so helpful new tenant knows this.
    , @res
    I'm not Jewish, but I have a streak of that trait as well (I think of it as an engineer's tendency to find and fix problems). I've worked pretty hard to moderate it by making an effort to praise as well as criticize. I think it's reasonable for me to ask others to do the same. I also think it's reasonable to interpret relentless criticism with no praise as not liking something.

    The tendency would be much less objectionable if the criticism did not seem to actually threaten the things that really are good (e.g. Jews advocating bringing in Muslims). The criticisms would also be less objectionable if there was less hypocrisy involved (e.g. walls for me but not for thee).
    , @black sea

    I think this is a cultural difference between Jews and non-Jews. Non-Jews think that if you complain about something, that means you don’t like it.
     
    There is an in-group /out-group dimension as well. We can see in this thread that what Jews may see as constructive criticism of America -- including both contemporary and historical shortcomings -- some gentiles interpret as a targeting of their culture and background. In a sense, these Gentiles see America as the creation of their forebears.

    You may observe a similar phenomenon with regard to criticism of Israel's past and current policies. Many people have observed that a more open and vigorous debate about these policies is to be found in Isreal, as opposed to America. Not surprising, really. In Isreal the debate is -- at the political level -- among Jews, and therefore interfamilia.

    Criticism of these same polices in America is often cast, with particular asperity, as antisemetic vitriol, and a desire to undermine the viability of the Jewish state.

    FWIW, I do agree with Jack D that at times on this site there is a strain of genuine anti-semetic hostility that contributes nothing of value to the discussions here. But again, I've been around long enough to know that there are Jews who project a range of anxieties and fears onto a gentile population that spends a hell of a lot less time thinking about Jews one way or another than they would like to imagine.

    In my experience, growing up in the 1970s in a Southern city, in an area where there was a greater than average concentration of Jewish residents, I honestly don't remember hearing anti-semetic asides among my gentile friends or their families. Obviously, there must have been people with such attitudes, but among our classmates at school and in the neighborhood I grew up in, who was and wasn't Jewish wasn't an issue of general concern. If it had been, I suspect I would remember it.
    , @Dumbo
    The problem is that what most Jews consider an "improvement", ain't. Or maybe it is for their group but not for the others.

    How is promoting socialism, massive immigration and pornography an "improvement" for Europe and the USA?

    Give-me non-complaining non-Jews anytime, please.
  200. @guest
    Lovecraft I'll grant you as well. But bear in mind though he's on his way to being accepted into the class of High Literature, he's not yet there. He's still considered a genre writer. Within that genre, he's got trouble. There have been efforts to unperson him for his reactionary views.

    Lovecraft I’ll grant you as well. But bear in mind though he’s on his way to being accepted into the class of High Literature, he’s not yet there. He’s still considered a genre writer. Within that genre, he’s got trouble. There have been efforts to unperson him for his reactionary views.

    I know. I’ve commented on the campaign waged against him. Blacks really, really hate HPL.

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    • Replies: @James Richard
    I don't think enough blacks even read to make any impact on anyones literary reputation at all and a good monster movie made from Lovecraft's material replete with "unspeakable horrors" would of course be a huge hit among black audiences.
  201. @Mika-Non

    And yet, strangely, in the days when most of the applicants were not Jewish, quantitative measure were considered to be entirely sufficient and there was no weight given to “leadership” and other indefinable qualities, which, just by coincidence, urban Jews happened to be lacking in.
     
    A series of unsupported assertions, to put it kindly. The most ridiculous of which is that leadership, athleticism etc were not considered before--when, the 1890s? They were always considered, just to varying degrees. I wouldn't want my college taken over by nerdy, pasty pencil-necks either! We have Cornell and MIT for that.

    Gotta love how the wealthiest, most powerful minority in America is loudest about its supposed victimisation. I suppose that serves a purpose, eh?

    I wouldn’t want my college taken over by nerdy, pasty pencil-necks either! We have Cornell and MIT for that.

    Cornell? Surely you jest. OK, maybe Chicago or Harvey Mudd, but… Cornell? The low-SAT-scoring Ivy League Ag school?

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  202. @Mika-Non
    Crap, I'm outside the edit window but it might have been "Time Is Tight" ... and 'In Quintessence' (At least I got the bands right :) )

    In a book about the band Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook said that he borrowed from Time is Tight for his song 'In Quintessence'
     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Quintessence#Background

    Tilbrook stated, “Musically it was my tip of the hat to Elvis [Costello]. He’d borrowed the riff from ‘Time Is Tight’ and used it on a song called ‘Temptation’. I thought it would be funny to use that riff again for ‘In Quintessence’ and expand it.”[1]

    Although the rest of East Side Story was produced by Elvis Costello, this track was produced instead by Dave Edmunds.

    In Quintessence
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icp59yf26Io

    Temptation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiU5tSyDyhU

    Booker T. & The MG’s – Time Is Tight
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xx1_CbJTI

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, they put on a televised exhibition night of gymnastics featuring the gold medal winners. The organizers insisted that the men perform their floor routines to music the way women always do. One American tumbler therefore picked Time Is Tight by Booker T & The MGs as the least gay music imaginable.
  203. @guest
    Pound is sorta half-in, half-out of the canon. He's "problematic," and Eliot grabs the lion's share of his fame. Eliot is one I grant you.

    As for the Agrarians, not counting Warren, you extend them far too much credit. They were widely acknowledged in the mid-20th century, but they're being forgotten now. I couldn't find a decent Ransom in print a few years ago when I looked. Tate is remembered only for Ode to the Confederate Dead.

    Nowadays you're as likely to hear of the Agrarians as being CIA stooges during the Cold War as hear of them in any other context. Unless you're into academic fights over poetics, and there they take what might be called a reactionary stance. But it's also thoroughly modernistic, in my opinion. Which just makes them the right wing of modernism, along with Eliot and Pound.

    Anyway, all of that is far beyond what interests most people. Unless you read I'll Take My Stand, you won't learn much about their anti-Yankeeisms. And that book is not widely known anymore.

    Warren is an exception, as he's still popular. But I have absolutely no notion of his politics outside what I learned from reading his books, and they're ambiguous.

    Pound is sorta half-in, half-out of the canon

    Trust me. He’s in. He’s too important to ignore. Influenced too many people (Joyce, Hemingway, Eliot).

    Anyway, all of that is far beyond what interests most people. Unless you read I’ll Take My Stand, you won’t learn much about their anti-Yankeeisms. And that book is not widely known anymore.

    Had it assigned in my grad seminar on Lit of the interwar years.

    Warren is an exception, as he’s still popular. But I have absolutely no notion of his politics outside what I learned from reading his books, and they’re ambiguous.

    Eh. Art is about ambiguity. When ambiguity is gone, you’re left with a screed.

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    • Replies: @guest
    "Art is about ambiguity"

    Don't agree. That would severely hamper art's moral aspect, which is one of the main reasons people bother with it.

    "When ambiguity is gone, you're left with a screed"

    I can agree with that. But requiring some ambiguity is a far cry from art being about ambiguity.

    That being said, I brought up the ambiguity of politics in Warren's books just to say that I can't tell based on them where he stood on the political spectrum. They actually aren't ambiguous as to the specific morals they draw, many of which are political.
    , @guest
    "He's too important to ignore. Influenced to many people"

    There are plenty of figures get taught as influences without being widely assigned or read. I remember, for instance, being taught Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther launched the "storm and stress" movement, but no one I knew ever read it. (Which is why I decided to read it, just to be nice.)
    , @James Richard

    Art is about ambiguity.
     
    Art is about conflict and visual or dramatic tension. There doesn't necessarily have to be anything ambiguous about it at all.
  204. @Jack D
    Jews thought (still think) that America was not only better than Russia, but that it was the greatest country on earth. Roth said as much.

    I think this is a cultural difference between Jews and non-Jews. Non-Jews think that if you complain about something, that means you don't like it. If your overall assessment is positive, you say that X is "great" and leave it at that. It's rude to tell you host, "the soup was good but next time, it could use a little less salt." Jews think, X is good but it could be better if Y was different and I will make this known. If I don't, how will X ever improve?

    Yup. Spot on.

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  205. @guest
    I wouldn't put the Irish/WASP difference as slight or superficial. The Irish, much like Jews, were "latecomers to modernity." Irish culture obviously is closer to WASP culture than is American Jewish culture. The Irish were ruled by the English for centuries, even if they came from bogs. But it's not like we're talking about the difference between Jews and blacks, for instance.

    Fitzgerald was relatively WASPy because he was a snob and social climber who deliberately turned his back on his father's kind, though they were middle-class, in order to be a BMOC in an elite university and a famous man of letters. Which is to say he was an assimilator, who ran away from the shiftless drunks, machine politicians, slum dwellers, unscrupulous merchants, and gangsters making up the stereotype of his people.

    Jews could have done that at the same time, and of course many did. But the big literary names eventually produced by their kind stayed between assimilation and non-assimilation. Most of them were or at least depicted in their works neurotics who could neither slide back into the womb of the tribe or fully join the world beyond their kind. But they could have, like Fitzgerald, if they tried.

    Also, it must be said most of the people we're talking about came of age after WASP power was already on the decline. They were up against watered-down WASPiness at best.

    I wouldn’t put the Irish/WASP difference as slight or superficial. The Irish, much like Jews, were “latecomers to modernity.” Irish culture obviously is closer to WASP culture than is American Jewish culture. The Irish were ruled by the English for centuries, even if they came from bogs. But it’s not like we’re talking about the difference between Jews and blacks, for instance.

    Well that’s what I’m talking about. The differences between Irish Catholics and WASPs are real enough, but they are not nearly as great as the differences between WASPs and Jews or WASPs and Italians. Hence, Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and O’Hara had a sense of being half-in, half-out of WASP society.And that can be a good vantage point for a writer…..

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    • Replies: @James Richard
    Great Britain and Ireland are genetically similar due to their isolation from Continental invasion for over 1000 years. The Anglo-Saxons were the last to have a significant genetic impact. Despite the Norman elites enormous cultural influence they left little genetic trace as their small numbers were quickly assimilated biologically.
    , @guest
    "Fitzgerald and O'Hara had a sense of being half-in, half-out of WASP society"

    I can't speak of O'Hara, but Fitzgerald for his part was all-in, though obviously he eventually had a "crack-up" and fell out of society altogether. Also, he couldn't ever be a natural member. He wasn't part of their crowd from the first.

    Still, when he was in, he fit better than the stereotypical maladjusted, alienated Jewish intellectual. Was that because the Irish are naturally closer to WASPs, or because Fitzgerald tried harder? I don't know. Certainly it wouldn't be possible for ALL Jewish intellectuals to fit in as well as ALL Irishmen. But on a case by case basis, Roth, Bellow, etc. could've tried as hard as Fitzgerald.

    Though maybe they didn't start off as well. I don't know. Fitzy was a provincial and his father was a bit of a screw-up, but they were well off and he did get into Princeton.

  206. @Kylie
    "I favor the work that James produced in the 1870s and 1880s: The Bostonians, Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Aspern Papers, etc.

    My Jacobite friends tell me that this means that my literary tastes are unrefined…."

    Nonsense. Late James is definitely not for everyone. I love those three novels but that's because I'm an obsessive type. I love The Aspern Papers, which is, of course, a story of obsession. Have you read 'Europe'? An excellent horror story, also about obsession. James resolved his "mommy issues" rather neatly. He was apparently his parents' favorite child and on a conscious level, adored his mother, always referring to her reverently. He then proceeded to create some truly horrifying
    maternal characters.

    Nonsense. Late James is definitely not for everyone. I love those three novels but that’s because I’m an obsessive type. I love The Aspern Papers, which is, of course, a story of obsession. Have you read ‘Europe’? An excellent horror story, also about obsession. James resolved his “mommy issues” rather neatly. He was apparently his parents’ favorite child and on a conscious level, adored his mother, always referring to her reverently. He then proceeded to create some truly horrifying
    maternal characters.

    I also love The Aspern Papers. Of James’ novellas, it’s my favorite. I’ve never read “Europe.” Seeing as how I like James’ ghostly tales (although not as much as I like the ones by his quasi-namesake, MR James), I’ll be sure to give it a try.

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  207. @Mika-Non
    Kerouac was remarkably right-wing for a hero of the left.

    Assuming he's even a hero of the left.

    Kerouac was remarkably right-wing for a hero of the left.

    Assuming he’s even a hero of the left.

    Well, he was sodomized by Gore Vidal…..

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  208. @syonredux

    I wouldn’t put the Irish/WASP difference as slight or superficial. The Irish, much like Jews, were “latecomers to modernity.” Irish culture obviously is closer to WASP culture than is American Jewish culture. The Irish were ruled by the English for centuries, even if they came from bogs. But it’s not like we’re talking about the difference between Jews and blacks, for instance.

     

    Well that's what I'm talking about. The differences between Irish Catholics and WASPs are real enough, but they are not nearly as great as the differences between WASPs and Jews or WASPs and Italians. Hence, Irish Catholic writers like Fitzgerald and O'Hara had a sense of being half-in, half-out of WASP society.And that can be a good vantage point for a writer.....

    Great Britain and Ireland are genetically similar due to their isolation from Continental invasion for over 1000 years. The Anglo-Saxons were the last to have a significant genetic impact. Despite the Norman elites enormous cultural influence they left little genetic trace as their small numbers were quickly assimilated biologically.

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  209. @Jack D
    Jews thought (still think) that America was not only better than Russia, but that it was the greatest country on earth. Roth said as much.

    I think this is a cultural difference between Jews and non-Jews. Non-Jews think that if you complain about something, that means you don't like it. If your overall assessment is positive, you say that X is "great" and leave it at that. It's rude to tell you host, "the soup was good but next time, it could use a little less salt." Jews think, X is good but it could be better if Y was different and I will make this known. If I don't, how will X ever improve?

    … how will X ever improve?

    The problem is that the “improvements” (like throwing the doors open to wretched refuse, “nudging” the plebs away from the First Amendment and cash currency, etc.) are likely to prove fatal to the host in the long run. And the covetous, oh so helpful new tenant knows this.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    You're really missing the point. If a WASP visited your home, he wouldn't give you better redecorating suggestions than a Jew, he wouldn't give you ANY.

    When our daughter was small, we once took her to a Chinese restaurant and the Chinese grandmother at the next table proceeded to give us all sorts of advice - I think she told us to dress the kid more warmly - Chinese believe in keeping babies warmly dressed. The woman was doing this because she thought she was being helpful so we listened and nodded. I understood where she was coming from intellectually, but emotionally my reaction was "mind your own goddamn business" because in American culture you don't go 'round giving unsolicited childrearing advice to strangers. But in her culture, she was just showing her concern.

    A smart parasite knows not to kill its host and Jews are (even by anti-Semites) usually considered smart, so your suggestion that Jews KNOW that they are giving bad advice that will eventually kill their host is I think not correct. There are a lot of deeply misguided leftists who do indeed give bad, even horrible advice, but even a Chomsky or a Sanders wants (what he perceives t0 be) the best for America. They are misguided, not malicious.
  210. @syonredux

    Lovecraft I’ll grant you as well. But bear in mind though he’s on his way to being accepted into the class of High Literature, he’s not yet there. He’s still considered a genre writer. Within that genre, he’s got trouble. There have been efforts to unperson him for his reactionary views.
     
    I know. I've commented on the campaign waged against him. Blacks really, really hate HPL.

    I don’t think enough blacks even read to make any impact on anyones literary reputation at all and a good monster movie made from Lovecraft’s material replete with “unspeakable horrors” would of course be a huge hit among black audiences.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I don’t think enough blacks even read to make any impact on anyones literary reputation at all and a good monster movie made from Lovecraft’s material replete with “unspeakable horrors” would of course be a huge hit among black audiences.
     
    Well, the guy (Daniel José Older) who organized the campaign that got The World Fantasy Award to replace the Lovecraft statuette is an "Afro-Latino":

    In August 2014, Older started a petition to change the World Fantasy Award statuette from a bust of H. P. Lovecraft to one of African-American author Octavia Butler.[3] Kevin J. Maroney, editor of the The New York Review of Science Fiction, also supported the call for the WFA to be changed from Lovecraft's face, suggesting it be replaced with a symbol representing the fantasy genre. Maroney argued this should be done "not out of disrespect for Lovecraft as a writer or as a central figure in fantasy, but as a courtesy to generations of writers whom the WFA hopes to honor."[4]
    In November 2015 it was announced that the World Fantasy Award trophy would no longer be modelled on H. P. Lovecraft, following the 2014 campaign that called the author out as an "avowed racist" with "hideous opinions".[5] Older expressed delight at the news and posted on his Twitter account, "THEY JUST ANNOUNCED THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD WILL NO LONGER BE HP LOVECRAFT. WE DID IT. YOU DID IT. IT’S DONE. YESSSSSSSS," Older tweeted.[5]
    Older later told The Guardian newspaper by email, "If fantasy as a genre truly wants to embrace all of its fans, and I believe it does, we can't keep lionising a man who used literature as a weapon against entire races. Writers of color have always had to struggle with the question of how to love a genre that seems so intent on proving it doesn't love us back. We raised our voices collectively, en masse, and the World Fantasy folks heard us. Today, fantasy is a better, more inclusive, and stronger genre because of it.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Jos%C3%A9_Older
    , @guest
    Black consumers aren't the issue, but rather black cultural gatekeepers and their enablers/fellow travelers. They have outsized influence, even in subgenres like horror. (Or "weird fiction," as hipsters anachronistically put it.)
  211. @MEH 0910
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Quintessence#Background

    Tilbrook stated, "Musically it was my tip of the hat to Elvis [Costello]. He'd borrowed the riff from 'Time Is Tight' and used it on a song called 'Temptation'. I thought it would be funny to use that riff again for 'In Quintessence' and expand it."[1]

    Although the rest of East Side Story was produced by Elvis Costello, this track was produced instead by Dave Edmunds.
     

    In Quintessence
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icp59yf26Io

    Temptation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiU5tSyDyhU

    Booker T. & The MG's - Time Is Tight
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xx1_CbJTI

    At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, they put on a televised exhibition night of gymnastics featuring the gold medal winners. The organizers insisted that the men perform their floor routines to music the way women always do. One American tumbler therefore picked Time Is Tight by Booker T & The MGs as the least gay music imaginable.

    Read More
  212. @James Richard
    I don't think enough blacks even read to make any impact on anyones literary reputation at all and a good monster movie made from Lovecraft's material replete with "unspeakable horrors" would of course be a huge hit among black audiences.

    I don’t think enough blacks even read to make any impact on anyones literary reputation at all and a good monster movie made from Lovecraft’s material replete with “unspeakable horrors” would of course be a huge hit among black audiences.

    Well, the guy (Daniel José Older) who organized the campaign that got The World Fantasy Award to replace the Lovecraft statuette is an “Afro-Latino”:

    In August 2014, Older started a petition to change the World Fantasy Award statuette from a bust of H. P. Lovecraft to one of African-American author Octavia Butler.[3] Kevin J. Maroney, editor of the The New York Review of Science Fiction, also supported the call for the WFA to be changed from Lovecraft’s face, suggesting it be replaced with a symbol representing the fantasy genre. Maroney argued this should be done “not out of disrespect for Lovecraft as a writer or as a central figure in fantasy, but as a courtesy to generations of writers whom the WFA hopes to honor.”[4]
    In November 2015 it was announced that the World Fantasy Award trophy would no longer be modelled on H. P. Lovecraft, following the 2014 campaign that called the author out as an “avowed racist” with “hideous opinions”.[5] Older expressed delight at the news and posted on his Twitter account, “THEY JUST ANNOUNCED THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD WILL NO LONGER BE HP LOVECRAFT. WE DID IT. YOU DID IT. IT’S DONE. YESSSSSSSS,” Older tweeted.[5]
    Older later told The Guardian newspaper by email, “If fantasy as a genre truly wants to embrace all of its fans, and I believe it does, we can’t keep lionising a man who used literature as a weapon against entire races. Writers of color have always had to struggle with the question of how to love a genre that seems so intent on proving it doesn’t love us back. We raised our voices collectively, en masse, and the World Fantasy folks heard us. Today, fantasy is a better, more inclusive, and stronger genre because of it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Jos%C3%A9_Older

    Read More
  213. @Jack D
    Very well said. The discrimination, BTW, was not only at the C-suite level. My MIL was able to get a job as a draftsman (draftsperson? draftswoman?) at Yale & Towne during WWII in Philadelphia only because the Federal government (even then) had non-discrimination requirements in their defense contracts (she also remembers being pestered to sign up Jewish friends and relatives for jobs so they could meet their targets). Before the war, she could not have dreamed of being hired there as Jew. My late FIL was in engineering at Drexel and he was advised not to do chemical engineering because none of the Philadelphia chemical companies (Rohm & Haas, etc. - the Germans once upon a time dominated chemistry - R&H's first product BTW was synthetic dog shit - I kid you not) would hire Jews.

    The real estate covenants were an attempt at an end run around the law. Even under 19th century jurisprudence, it was clear that local governments could not pass ordinances excluding people by religion. The thought was that since deed covenants were "private" there was no state action, but of course there is - the covenants have to be enforced by the government or they are meaningless and eventually the Supreme Court ruled them illegal as well.

    Somehow a lot of commenters here (and not excluding Steve) seem to think that just because they didn't put Jews in America in concentration camps that Jews were never victims of racism. Jews in America were able to do well in sort of "separate but equal" regime (much better than blacks because they are much smarter than blacks) but separate but equal was still a form of segregation that was entirely outside the spirit in which America was founded and as embodied by the post-Civil War Amendments. Frankly, the Jews of America would, in some ways, be better off if this system had continued (for one thing there wouldn't be a 70% intermarriage rate which is going to lead to the extinction of all but Orthodox Jews in a couple of generations) but it was morally wrong, and, as you say, once the horrors of the Nazis became known, it was morally indefensible and eventually legally indefensible as well. A lot of commenters also can't seem to understand why Jews seem to identify