Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Short Stories of "Goodbye, Columbus"

I did not tell in my previous post, that just after „Goodbye Columbus” Philip Roth published five short stories (The Conversion of the Jews, Defender of the Faith, Epstein, You Can't Tell a Man be the Song He Sings, Eli the Fanatic). Many reviewers and some public opinions criticised Roth for iconoclasm apparently emerging from these stories. Many called him "self-hating Jew". As was with „Goodbay Columbus” — I disagree with these opinions. The stories are full of good humour, and yes — of irony, but always told with specific deep tenderness and warmth.

The most beautiful of them is „Eli, the fanatic” who shows the transformation of the secular person to religious one in an incredible way — through ... clothing. Well, it is more complicated and deep than that. It is a tiny story that tells in a simple, unpretentious way, without any grandiloquent words — what it sometimes mean to receive The Call...

I suggest to read it — is short and glorious...

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