Off-canon Pleasures

Off-canon Pleasures

By Armin Paul Frank
Book Description

The inclusion of works in a canonical list creates a large body of exclusions. But among these neglected works there are not a few that nevertheless are worth reading. Literary worth is not necessarily aesthetic impeccability. A literary work recommends itself by a high degree of artistic achievement with elbowroom for historical importance. The present study focuses on Leo Rosten´s immigration novel The Education of Hyman Kaplan (1937) and Archibald MacLeish´s radio play Air Raid (1938). The first is more than the apparent compendium of language-based jokes. Read in the context of immigration policy from Presidents Theodore Roosevelt to F. D. Roosevelt and of Jewish-American humor, it displays Kaplan´s moral and intellectual growth, which extant commentary denies, and exhibits the "interior internationality" of an immigration country. Air Raid is one of the few achieved American radio plays to take a stand on foreign affairs in a context that does not only consist of broadcasting and Picasso´s collage-painting Guernica "the screaming picture" which MacLeish transposed into the acoustic medium but also of the historical saturation bombing of the Basque town.

Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • 1 Introduction
    • 1 Internationality, external and internal
    • 2 Leo Rosten and Archibald Macleish
    • 3 The critical standing of Rosten and MacLeish
    • 4 Summary
  • 2 Leo Rosten and the Matter of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N
    • 1 The “new immigrants” and Americanization
    • 2 Jews in twentieth-century American humor
    • 3 Narrating a Night School for Adults
    • 4 The opening situation
    • 5 The wide world of The Education of Hyman Kaplan, the wider world of O Kaplan! My Kaplan!
    • 6 Language humor and beyond
    • 7 An international problem in beginners’ grade
    • 8 Mr. Kaplan’s education
    • 9 Summary
  • 3 Archibald MacLeish and the Theme of Imminent War
    • 1 Context of politics, poetics, and radio
    • 2 Doctrines of air war
    • 3 Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
    • 4 Old style war and new in Air Raid
    • 5 The radio art of Air Raid
    • 6 Summary
  • 4 Perspective
    • 1 Ten more works of low visibility
    • 2 Invitation
  • Appendices
    • Appendix I – A Brief Propositional Examination of the Canon
    • Appendix II – Reporting Guernica – Questions of Knowing
      • 1 An air raid and its repercussions
      • 2 A war correspondent’s ways of knowing
      • 3 George L. Steer: Launching the story of Guernica
      • 4 “Historic Basque Town Wiped Out” as news story
      • 5 George L. Steer: Revising the story of Guernica
      • 6 Later accounts
      • 7 Conclusions
  • References
  • Literature Consulted
  • Backcover
    No review for this book yet, be the first to review.
      No comment for this book yet, be the first to comment
      You May Also Like
      Also Available On
      Curated Lists