1. Jewish-American experience
    1. Schindler's List--Spielberg's effort to come to terms with his past; also Roth's; a haunting
    2. Traumatic adventure of immigration and flight; tradition and family as absolute; energy of upward mobility and assimilation vs. desire to preserve traditions. Movement from inner city to suburbs; from slavish work to affluence; from inner binding to individuality and privacy and alienation
      1. The voyage of immigration--refugees from persecution; middle passage; voyage north; voyage to Gold Mountain
    3. My experience--Arden St. Three room apartment; grandmother and mother and father; move to Riverdale;
  2. Phillip Roth
    1. First book 1957--last 1998--major literary figure
    2. Serious writer; not in conflict with family, but tumultuous relationship with Jewish community--rebel and spokesman; always politically incorrect--as in Defender of the Faith, Conversion, Eli
    3. Love hate relationship with America--American pastoral--the country club; the beautiful shiksa or assimilated woman; the attractions of sacrifice.
    4. Roth as sociologist--immigration, urban/suburban. Race, class economy--Short Hills and Newark--historian--heavily researched and from own experience
      1. "I married a communist"--his most recent book; about the 50's--and American Pastoral--about the 60's
    5. Roth as psychologist and moralist
      1. Obsessive eroticism of modern life; individualism
      2. Male sexual prowess--moving into an established class world
      3. Search for self
      4. Lots of despair, dissatisfaction, irresolution
      5. No happy relationships
    6. Autobiography/ Biography and Fiction
      1. Grew up in Newark--went to Rutgers then to WASP Bucknell, then U Chicago, Princeton
      2. "The Facts"--vs. A Counterlife; Zuckerman
    7. Love and sex themes
      1. Portnoy's Complaint 1969 was cause celebre
        1. Rude and Crude--the diaphragm; portnoy's complaint--about masturbation and jewish mothers
      2. Three failed marriages; the Claire Bloom scandal
        1. They lived together for 15 years--he six months in America/ six months in England--the greatest of conquests: Claire Bloom--name, glamour--website link
  3. "Goodbye Columbus" Plot Outline
    1. #1:1-14 First encounter
      1. "*she picks him up; he finds her "myopic" long stemmed rose--"my blood jumped"
        1. an angel p. 11
      2. country club--suburban phone book--Newark and Shrot Hills
        1. *p. 8 suburbs closer to heaven; privacy vs. community
      3. Gladys--
        1. dialect; food; work
        2. no privacy; personal distance
        3. cocksureness; more savage in the dark
      4. Brenda
        1. "Are you a Negro" --p.7
        2. sports obsession; tennis and golf
        3. Bennington--Simp; Radcliffe
        4. d. Newark as a baby 12
        5. bobbed nose--cost
      5. Neil
        1. class resentment about schools--p.11
        2. *he teases her about her "Americanizing" behavior; she invites a kiss; his nastiness works 14
    2. #2:14-29 Short Hills; Meeting the Family
      1. setting of country club--ironic account 14
      2. sex in the water; underwater symbol 17
      3. affection and resentment--he turns her on physically 18; "edginess"and love
      4. Brother Ron
        1. approach from bottom of pool; immense; Proteus; sports nut; hand shaker
      5. Patimkin establishment
        1. Carlota the maid
        2. Father Patimkin--reminds of his father; ferocious eater, ungrammatical
          1. diamond in nose 28
          2. spoiled girls--allowed to win by father; overexpectations by mother
        3. Mother--wild princess tamed
        4. sporting goods trees 21
        5. dinner conversation--tensions and hanky-panky
        6. mother-daughter jealousy
        7. every conversation about parents
        8. Julie the spoiled one
        9. resentment about "still lives in Newark" remark 26
        10. what is hideous emotion that's underside of love" 27
    3. #3: 29-47 Neil scores--Newark/Shorthills
      1. Neil: works at library; alienated from colleagues 29. not going to be his lifework--what is? ; fears numbness, muscleless devotion to work
      2. More on Newark--
        1. cultural center; upward mobility; Museum; history; contemporary moral issues 30-1
        2. people scurrying to work; the heat
      3. the Negro boy--style, pathos, identifying with him as renegade and alien; searcher; isolate; dancer and challenger
        1. a."heart" and art
        2. contrast to John Mckee's racism 35
          1. utopian vision of Gaugin--37 to Short Hills
      4. Babysitting Julie; exploring the house
        1. large, private rooms, isolation and freedom; opposite of Gladys and Max's apartment--the giants 41
        2. *luxury--unused bar; appliances; refrigerator; Edenic fruit--[Fresh Prince?]--Oh Patimkin 43; he steals fruit and beats Julie at Ping Pong--the fall?--St. Augustine
        3. c.*Quick switch to making love--he scores. Playing games; ball--baseball and sex? Repulsiveness of Neill--21st point p. 45-6
    4. #4: 47-61 Summer Idyll:
      1. Colored kid relation--heroic and searcher; he disappears; N. saves book for him against onslaught of old man and reality
      2. Short Hills
        1. Brenda's indifference to him 49 Questions come from mother
        2. *Neill's been in army; he's philosophy major; 23 years old; 51--a liver, a pancreas (!); also finished with college; at loose ends--what will he do?
        3. Her question about love; wants his love but not demanding; if he gives it, she knows her dad can give him job; like Ron.
        4. *His non committal response but fear of losing her; fear of death; her games--produces love p.54
        5. stories of idyllic partying; the summer romance; eating fruit; watching movies for nothing
        6. adopted by family; saying goodbye to Gladys, who says Patimkin's are not real Jews *58
      3. Newark
        1. promotion announced
        2. lies to old man and tries to get kid to take book home; he sweats about risking position to help little boy with book; boy cant go home; why does boy have no name?
    5. #5: 61-75 Engagements--Ron and Harriet; Neill moves in
      1. the attic; the memory; sex on the sofa 69
      2. Neil acculturating and rebelling; her power; making him a runner; she says she loves him
      3. experiences of overwhelming happiness--he wants to stay in her bed; Ron in columbus
      4. Neil's dream* 74--Paradise Lost
    6. #6: 75-98 Facing marriage--pregnancy and diaphragm
      1. stay extended; identification with Carlota
      2. *he wants marriage, but afraid of it...78...proposes diaphragm instead "for the sake of pleasure."
      3. he wants control not marriage into her family; she doesn't like idea of something "affairish"--*too grown up and conscious--she's still a rebellious child 82
      4. contrast Harriet and Brenda; no communication with Harriet or Ron; they're conventional and humorless
      5. Ron is joiner of Bnai Brith; Mother is big shot in Hadassah and the Temple
      6. *What are you? 88-9 Neil likes Buber; Brenda was the best Hebrew student
      7. Back to Newark--the downtown
        1. Patimkin Kitchen and Bathroom and Sink--rock bottom; relation of Jews and Negros
        2. Neil facing prospect of marriage into family; father likes him--a goniff, not a goyim, like his kids *93
        3. then travels to park--mothers and children; facing kids
      8. Brenda doesnt get diaphragm; he keeps up pressure--both are ambivalent about marriage--not conscious
    7. #7: 98-119The Weddings
      1. New York superhot like Hell--opposite of Paradise
      2. Neil says a prayer while she's at doctor--in St. Patricks where the model is photographed; mockery of religion; searching for spiritual self, all he finds is materialism; says diaphragm doctor is wedding her to him* p.100
      3. Ron's farewell to his youth--end of summer...schlocky sentimentality--Mantovani; debased rite of passage; move from school to work and marriage
      4. Ron's wedding
        1. ceremony is mere social convention, display of wealth--like St. Patricks
        2. old family members figuring out the carpeting cost at the Pierre
        3. Uncle the Leo the Schlemiehl--getting drunker and closer to the truth--a good deal and oral sex 108--prospect of pure loser; oversight of God 118
        4. desolation of Brenda's leaving; end of summer--back in time for work--his promotion in the library
    8. #8: 119-136 Autumn
      1. Loss; deer flee from him; threatened in library but Neil turns to bully; colored boy is gone
      2. Rosh Hashonah--the New Year; both N. and B. have turned back on Jewish holiday and family, yet exploit it to see each other--I'll be disguised as an orthodox Jew" 123
      3. false marriage--she wears ring; they check into cheap hotel as Mr. and Mrs. Klugman. He wants to propose but she's betrayed him to the family
      4. Father Patimkin: faith is most important in business and marriage 127
      5. Doesnt want to take him to family. "I loved you..." its over; they discover it in past tense
      6. Ending: he looks in mirror trying to understand himself; also looks through the glass door of the library to a broken wall of books. He's kept out; he's broken in?
      7. Back to New York--work on the first day of the year--Goodbye...implying hello, but not feeling that way
  4. "Goodbye Columbus"Plot Outline short version-- the plot picture on p.135
    1. first encounter
    2. meeting the family
    3. Neil scores
      1. the negro boy
      2. julie
    4. Summer Idyll
      1. saving the book; fear of losing her
      2. getting the promotion
      3. Garden of Eden; adam and eve in paradise; always forbiden fruit
    5. Engagements--Ron and Harriet, Neill moves in
      1. the attic
      2. neil acculturating
      3. the dream of departure
    6. Facing marriage
      1. afraid to propose
      2. diaphragm as substitute
        1. her fear of being sexual
      3. courting mrs. patimkin--
        1. conservative or reformed; hadassah; best hebrew student
      4. going to the sink
      5. mothers and children in park
    7. Goodbye Columbus
      1. Going to New York
        1. true hell; infernal--diaphragm instead of marriage
          1. the model in St. Patricks
          2. experience of false prayer; God is a clown
          3. Ron’s farewell
      2. Ron’s elegy from Columbus and youth
      3. the wedding as travesty
      4. cleanup and drunkenness
    8. Autumn and Rosh Hashonah
      1. New Year travesty; false ethnicity
      2. He’s turned into bully
      3. colored kid gone
      4. false wedding ring; he wants to propose
      5. father Patimkin: faith is most important
      6. It’s over and new beginning
      7. understanding after its over.