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Conversations With Chaim Potok

Author: Daniel Walden
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 9781578063468
Size: 78.27 MB
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One of America's most popular Jewish writers, Chaim Potok (b. 1929) is the author of such novels as The Chosen (1967), The Promise (1969), The Book of Lights (1981), and Davita's Harp (1985). Each of his novels explores the tension between tradition and modernity, and the clash between Jewish culture and contemporary Western civilization, which he calls "core-to-core culture confrontation." Although primarily known as a novelist, Potok is an ordained Conservative rabbi and a world-class Judaic scholar who has also published children's books, theological discourses, biographies, and histories. Conversations with Chaim Potok presents interviews ranging from 1976 to 1999. Potok discusses the broad range of his writing and the deep influence of non-Jewish novels-in particular, Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-on his work. Interviews bear witness to Potok's many other influences-Orthodox Jewish doctrine, Freudian psychoanalytical theory, Picasso's Guernica, and Jewish kabbalah mysticism. Though labeled an American Jewish writer, Potok argues that Flannery O'Connor should then be called an American Catholic writer and John Updike an American Protestant writer. "In his mind," editor Daniel Walden writes, "just as Faulkner was a writer focused on a particular place, Oxford, Mississippi, . . . so Potok's territory was a small section of New York City." Potok often explores conflict in his writings and in his interviews. Strict Jewish teachings deem fiction an artifice and therefore unnecessary, yet since the age of sixteen Potok has been driven to write novels. At the root of all of these conversations is Potok's intense interest in the turmoil between Jewish culture, religion, and tradition and what he calls "Western secular humanism." As he discusses his work, he continually includes broader issues, such as the state of Jewish literature and art, pointing out with pride and enthusiasm his belief that Jewish culture, in the twentieth century, has finally begun to have a significant role in producing and shaping the world's art and literature. Whether discussing the finer details of Talmudic textual analysis or his period of chaplaincy during the Korean War, Potok is articulate and philosophical, bringing deep consideration into what may seem small subjects. Although his novels and histories take place primarily in the recent past, the Chaim Potok that emerges from this collection is a writer deeply rooted in the tensions of the present. Daniel Walden is Professor Emeritus of American Studies, English and Comparative Literature at Penn State University. He has written or edited several books, including On Being Jewish (1974), Twentieth Century American Jewish Writers (1984), The World of Chaim Potok (1985), and American Jewish Poets: The Roots and the Stems (1990).

The Chosen

Author: Chaim Potok
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 150114247X
Size: 43.70 MB
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The story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again.

Chaim Potok

Author: Sanford V. Sternlicht
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313311819
Size: 62.68 MB
Format: PDF
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An in-depth study of the eight major novels by renowned Jewish-American writer, Chaim Potok.

In The Beginning

Author: Chaim Potok
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0307575543
Size: 55.32 MB
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David Lurie learns that all beginnings are hard. He must fight for his place against the bullies in his Depression-shadowed Bronx neighborhood and his own frail health. As a young man, he must start anew and define his own path of personal belief that diverges sharply with his devout father and everything he has been taught.... From the Paperback edition.

Chaim Potok

Author: Edward A. Abramson
Publisher: Twayne Pub
ISBN:
Size: 71.65 MB
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Provides in-depth analysis of the life, works, career, and critical importance of Chaim Potok.

My Name Is Asher Lev

Author: Chaim Potok
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780307422347
Size: 72.68 MB
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“A novel of finely articulated tragic power. . . . Little short of a work of genius.”—The New York Times Book Review Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe. Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels, even when it leads him to blasphemy. In this stirring and often visionary novel, Chaim Potok traces Asher’s passage between these two identities, the one consecrated to God, the other subject only to the imagination. Asher Lev grows up in a cloistered Hasidic community in postwar Brooklyn, a world suffused by ritual and revolving around a charismatic Rebbe. But in time, his gift threatens to estrange him from that world and the parents he adores. As it follows his struggle, My Name Is Asher Lev becomes a luminous portrait of the artist, by turns heartbreaking and exultant, a modern classic.

I Am The Clay

Author: Chaim Potok
Publisher: Fawcett
ISBN: 0307575535
Size: 26.99 MB
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“[Chaim] Potok writes powerfully about the suffering of innocent people caught in the cross-fire of a war they cannot begin to understand. . . . Humanity and compassion for his characters leap from every page.”—San Francisco Chronicle As the Chinese and the army of the North sweep south during the Korean War, an old peasant farmer and his wife flee their village across the bleak, bombed-out landscape. They soon come upon a boy in a ditch who is wounded and unconscious. Stirred by possessiveness and caring the woman refuses to leave the boy behind. The man thinks she is crazy to nurse this boy, to risk their lives for some dying stranger. Angry and bewildered, he waits for the boy to die. And when the boy does not die, the old man begins to believe that the boy possesss a magic upon which all their lives depend. . . .

The Promise

Author: Chaim Potok
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307826368
Size: 31.22 MB
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In a passionate, energetic narrative, The Promise brilliantly dramatizes what it is to master and use knowledge to make one’s own way in the world. Reuven Malter lives in Brooklyn, he’s in love, and he’s studying to be a rabbi. He also keeps challenging the strict interpretations of his teachers, and if he keeps it up, his dream of becoming a rabbi may die. One day, worried about a disturbed, unhappy boy named Michael, Reuven takes him sailing and cloud-watching. Reuven also introduces him to an old friend, Danny Saunders—now a psychologist with a growing reputation. Reconnected by their shared concern for Michael, Reuven and Danny each learns what it is to take on life—whether sacred truths or a troubled child—according to his own lights, not just established authority.

Chaim Potok S The Chosen

Author: Harold Bloom
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
ISBN: 0791081737
Size: 60.83 MB
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An overview of the work features a biographical sketch of the author, a list of characters, a summary of the plot, and critical and analytical views of the work.