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"So what's the joke?" : locating Jewish-American female authorship

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"So what's the joke?" : locating Jewish-American female authorship

Stolar, Batia Boe (1997) "So what's the joke?" : locating Jewish-American female authorship. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the fiction of three contemporary Jewish-American female writers, Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick and Erica Jong, and locates their writing in the context of their quasi-double-marginalization--the yoking of their Jewishness and femaleness. Their texts illustrate their reaction to a history of patriarchal Judaism that relegates femaleness to the domestic sphere, and to a history of anti-Semitism that is marked by persecution, and, most explicitly, the Holocaust. An examination of the narrative strategics that these writers utilize--oral storytelling, traditional genre paradigms, and hyperbolic satire--illustrates their reaction to oppressive constructions of Jewishness--particularly Jewish femaleness--that have been authorized and promoted by such canonical Jewish male authors as Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth. Paley, Ozick and Jong challenge the authority of their canonical male counterparts and ridicule their caricatures of Jewish women--particularly that of the ball-breaking "Jewish Mother." Their rewritings and inscriptions of Jewish-American femaleness reconstruct a frequently ignored immigrant domestic sphere, and the sexuality of the Jewish-American woman--whose sexuality has been dismissed by the Jewish male desire for the shiksa. And yet, their texts also remind us that Jewish-American female writers are not relegated to the domestic sphere, nor do they lack authority.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Stolar, Batia Boe
Pagination:vi, 117 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Dept. of English
Date:1997
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nixon, Nicola
ID Code:348
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:11
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:14
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