Requiem for Harlem

Requiem for Harlem Completed just months before Henry Roth s death the four volume works of Mercy of a Rude Stream has become an epic American literary event Here in Requiem for Harlem Roth tells the psychologically

  • Title: Requiem for Harlem
  • Author: Henry Roth
  • ISBN: 9780312202057
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Paperback
  • Completed just months before Henry Roth s death, the four volume works of Mercy of a Rude Stream has become an epic American literary event Here, in Requiem for Harlem, Roth tells the psychologically lacerating love story of Ira Stigman, a senior at City College, who has fallen for Edith Welles, NYU professor and muse of modern poets Set both in the fractured world of JeCompleted just months before Henry Roth s death, the four volume works of Mercy of a Rude Stream has become an epic American literary event Here, in Requiem for Harlem, Roth tells the psychologically lacerating love story of Ira Stigman, a senior at City College, who has fallen for Edith Welles, NYU professor and muse of modern poets Set both in the fractured world of Jewish Harlem and in the bohemian maelstrom of Greenwich Village, Requiem for Harlem provides a fitting epitaph that concludes the literary exodus that propelled Roth from alienation to artistic and personal redemption.

    One thought on “Requiem for Harlem”

    1. There were moments during the reading of these four volumes that I intensely disliked the autopathetic protagonist; there were moments when the author's diction was redundant (how often does one find feckless and farrago in any book even once, let alone repeatedly). But I think Roth may have chosen this kind of repetition to evoke the psychological/emotional stagnation and limits of the protagonist that span volumes two, three and most of four. All of that said, I found the book to be unflinchin [...]

    2. Despite confessional tone of book, I got feeling that author left a great deal out, as if he couldn't after so many years and apparent false starts really look at himself by writing down what he had felt and experienced. The protagonist seemed very shallow and self-pitying to me. Ira is one of the least sympathetic "heroes" I have ever encountered in fiction. Having said that, a very nice feeling of the New York of the 1920's throughout.

    3. Masterpiece. The best stuff seems to be able to move beyond balancing beauty and brutality to reveal them as an irreconcilable unity; a necessary paradox. This book, and the three volumes which set it up, do so with all the humor and cruelty of the early 20th century. Local and universal, this book is a difficult joy. Worth it despite the heavy Joyce-bashing.

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