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Critical Essay | Critical Review by Irving Howe

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Critical Review by Irving Howe

Source: "The Suburbs of Babylon," in The New Republic, Vol. 140, No. 24, June 15, 1959, pp. 17-18.

In the following review of Goodbye, Columbus, Howe supports Roth 's characterization of suburban Jewry but disapproves of his moral pointedness .

What many writers spend a lifetime searching for—a unique voice, a secure rhythm, a distinctive subject—seem to have come to Philip Roth totally and immediately. At 26 he is a writer of narrow range but intense effects. He composes stories about the life of middle-class American Jews with a ferocity it would be idle to complain about, so thoroughly do they pour out of his own sense of things.

Roth's stories do not yield pleasure as much as produce a squirm of recognition: surely, one feels, not all of American Jewish life is like this, but all too...

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This section contains 1,359 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Critical Review by Irving Howe - Critical Review by Irving Howe
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