American Pastoral | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 7 pages of analysis & critique of American Pastoral.
This section contains 1,938 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Weather Girl," in Nation, Vol. 264, No. 18, May 12, 1997, pp. 63-4.

[In the following review, Gitlin faults Roth's flat prose, sluggish excursions, and sideways motions in American Pastoral, but notes that "Inside this long, viscous book, a solid, serious allegory struggles to get out."]

You have to admire Philip Roth for refusing to repeat himself in his twenty-second book. American Pastoral is a family epic about social breakdown and freakout—Thomas Mann goes Jersey. Roth puts on a straightforward disposition. He goes pre-postmodern. His antics and fantasies are minimal, as if Roth the shtickmeister-magician is just keeping his hand in. The dead stay dead. The protagonists are winners who, after long free rides, can't win for losing. Roth treats these uncomprehending scramblers with a certain troubled distance and intermittent compassion. He's aiming to bag the big saga about the doom in the heart of the American dream—in particular...

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This section contains 1,938 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the American Pastoral
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American Pastoral from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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