Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jews in the News: NY Times asks, JONJ?

In a recent article, the NY Times asked the question whether Willy Loman, the titular character in Arthur Miller's "Death of the Salesman", was Jewish.
These are the sort of questions that defy provable answers. Miller himself changed his view of Willy over the decades, evolving from a fierce defense of his indeterminate identity to a perception of him as an untethered Jew. Literary critics, especially Jewish ones, have long argued the point among themselves. Leslie Fiedler dismissed Willy as the “crypto-Jewish” product of Miller’s “pseudo-universalizing,” while Julius Novick maintained that the Loman family’s “separation from the roots ... is what makes them so vulnerable to the false values that undo them.”

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