Read more · Philip Roth - The Human Stain. Read more · Roth, Philip - The Human Stain · Read more · Stain of the Berry. Read more · The Ink Stain · Read more. THE HUMAN STAIN. Screenplay by. NICHOLAS MEYER. Based On The Novel. The Human Stain. By Philip Roth. Production - white. February 25, PDF | Philip Roth belongs to the first generation of American novelists for whom a It focuses on The Human Stain (), the novel in which he reflects most.
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Editorial Reviews. aracer.mobi Review. Athena College was snoozing complacently in the Berkshires until Coleman Silk--formerly "Silky Silk," undefeated. This books (The Human Stain [PDF]) Made by Philip Roth About Books none To Download Please Click. While the centrality of the genre of tragedy to The Human Stain has been consistently acknowledged by critics, the novel has tended to be read simply as an.
Coleman Silk is a perfect example of secrecy and self-invention. For Coleman Silk, it is not the shame of being black, but the shame of having lied and invented a new identity for the social advantages it brought with it. It is the shame derived from the fear of being discovered.
Coleman feels that his color stains him in a society where being the Other, an Afro-American, makes one the object of prejudice. His desire for purification — and thus for freedom — convinces him to pass as white. The desire for women is characterized by passion and a strong wish to possess, lacking profound love.
The sense of failure of Coleman Silk is, in fact, shame. On the other hand, The Human Stain seems to be more provocative, as it explores the psyche of its protagonist and of his mistress, Faunia Farley.
Secrecy is at the very heart of what identity means in this novel. We think this secrecy is related with shame in a specific way: shame of not being discovered, but also it is the shame of not being authentic. This kind of consciousness gives the power to self-present, to make an identity. At the same time, transformation is an integral part of the Jewish identity and, despite being irreverent and ironic, Roth remains loyal to his Jewishness, as Operation Shylock showed us before the American Trilogy.
Moreover, it is important to remark that Roth makes his novels speak about the relation between reality and life, between writing and life, between the writer and what he writes, the writer and his work. Hogan, Patrick Colm.
Press, Neelakantan, G. Nussbaum, Martha, Upheavals of Thought. Oatley, Keith, Such Stuff as Dreams.
Safer, Elaine B. I had known perhaps fifty years ago but had wholly forgotten that 'spooks' is an invidious term sometimes applied to blacks. Otherwise, since I am totally meticulous regarding student sensibilities, I would never have used that word.
Consider the context: The charge of racism is spurious.
It is preposterous. My colleagues know it is preposterous and my students know it is preposterous. The issue, the only issue, is the nonattendance of these two students and their flagrant and inexcusable neglect of work.
Now, even ordinary deans, I am told, serving as they do in a no man's land between the faculty and the higher administration, invariably make enemies. They don't always grant the salary raises that are requested or the convenient parking places that are so coveted or the larger offices professors believe they are entitled to. Candidates for appointments or promotion, especially in weak departments, are routinely rejected. Departmental petitions for additional faculty positions and secretarial help are almost always turned down, as are requests for reduced teaching loads and for freedom from early morning classes.
Funds for travel to academic conferences are regularly denied, et cetera, et cetera. But Coleman had been no ordinary dean, and who he got rid of and how he got rid of them, what he abolished and what he established, and how audaciously he performed his job into the teeth of tremendous resistance succeeded in more than merely slighting or offending a few odd ingrates and malcontents.
In the very first month he was appointed dean, Coleman had invited every faculty member in for a talk, including several senior professors who were the scions of the old county families who'd founded and originally endowed the place and who themselves didn't really need the money but gladly accepted their salaries.
Each of them was instructed beforehand to bring along his or her c. And for a full hour he kept them there, sometimes even longer, until, having so persuasively indicated that things at Athena had at long last changed, he had begun to make them sweat.
Nor did he hesitate to open the interview by flipping through the c.
He eliminated the ill-named Scholar of the Year Prize and assigned the thousand dollars elsewhere. For the first time in the college's history, he made people apply formally, with a detailed project description, for paid sabbatical leave, which was more often than not denied. He got rid of the clubby faculty lunchroom, which boasted the most exquisite of the paneled oak interiors on the campus, converted it back into the honors seminar room it was intended to be, and made the faculty eat in the cafeteria with the students.
Coleman had attendance taken by the faculty secretary so that even the eminences with the three-hour-a-week schedules were forced onto the campus to show up. He found a provision in the college constitution that said there were to be no executive committees, and arguing that those stodgy impediments to serious change had grown up only by convention and tradition, he abolished them and ruled these faculty meetings by fiat, using each as an occasion to announce what he was going to do next that was sure to stir up even more resentment.
In short, he brought in competition, he made the place competitive, which, as an early enemy noted, "is what Jews do. They prized him for taking the ruling elite out of their little club and threatening their self-presentation, which never fails to drive a pompous professor crazy. Heady times! How strong it was he had never entirely realized until he counted all the people, department by department, who seemed to be not at all displeased that the word the old dean had chosen to characterize his two seemingly nonexistent students was definable not only by the primary dictionary meaning that he maintained was obviously the one he'd intended but by the pejorative racial meaning that had sent his two black students to lodge their complaint.
I remember clearly that April day two years back when Iris Silk died and the insanity took hold of Coleman. Other than to offer a nod to one or the other of them whenever our paths crossed down at the general store or the post office, I had not really known the Silks or anything much about them before then. I hadn't even known that Coleman had grown up some four or five miles away from me in the tiny Essex County town of East Orange, New Jersey, and that, as a graduate of East Orange High, he had been some six years ahead of me in my neighboring Newark school.
Coleman had made no effort to get to know me, nor had I left New York and moved into a two-room cabin set way back in a field on a rural road high in the Berkshires to meet new people or to join a new community.
But then, on that afternoon two years back, having driven directly from making arrangements for Iris's burial, Coleman was at the side of my house, banging on the door and asking to be let in. Though he had something urgent to ask, he couldn't stay seated for more than thirty seconds to clarify what it was. If he wrote the story in all of its absurdity, altering nothing, nobody would believe it, nobody would take it seriously, people would say it was a ludicrous lie, a self-serving exaggeration, they would say that more than his having uttered the word "spooks" in a classroom had to lie behind his downfall.
But if I wrote it, if a professional writer wrote it. The way he careened around the room made me think of those familiar chickens that keep on going after having been beheaded.
His head had been lopped off, the head encasing the educated brain of the once unassailable faculty dean and classics professor, and what I was witnessing was the amputated rest of him spinning out of control. Killed her as if they'd taken aim and fired a bullet into her heart.
It was, up close, bruised and ruined like a piece of fruit that's been knocked from its stall in the marketplace and kicked to and fro along the ground by the passing shoppers. There is something fascinating about what moral suffering can do to someone who is in no obvious way a weak or feeble person. It's more insidious even than what physical illness can do, because there is no morphine drip or spinal block or radical surgery to alleviate it. Once you're in its grip, it's as though it will have to kill you for you to be free of it.
Its raw realism is like nothing else. For Coleman that alone explained how, out of nowhere, the end could have come to an energetic sixty-four-year-old woman of commanding presence and in perfect health, an abstract painter whose canvases dominated the local art shows and who herself autocratically administered the town artists' association, a poet published in the county newspaper, in her day the college's leading politically active opponent of bomb shelters, of strontium 90, eventually of the Vietnam War, opinionated, unyielding, impolitic, an imperious whirlwind of a woman recognizable a hundred yards away by her great tangled wreath of wiry white hair; so strong a person, apparently, that despite his own formidableness, the dean who reputedly could steamroll anybody, the dean who had done the academically impossible by bringing deliverance to Athena College, could best his own wife at nothing other than tennis.
Coleman rushed her to the hospital, but by the next day she was dead. And so he still believed. He was not susceptible to any other explanation.
There's a small FM station over in Springfield that on Saturday nights, from six to midnight, takes a break from the regular classical programming and plays big-band music for the first few hours of the evening and then jazz later on. On my side of the mountain you get nothing but static tuning to that frequency, but on the slope where Coleman lives the reception's fine, and on the occasions when he'd invite me for a Saturday evening drink, all those sugary-sweet dance tunes that kids of our generation heard continuously over the radio and played on the jukeboxes back in the forties could be heard coming from Coleman's house as soon as I stepped out of my car in his driveway.
Coleman had it going full blast not just on the living room stereo receiver but on the radio beside his bed, the radio beside the shower, and the radio beside the kitchen bread box. Oddly, he said, none of the serious stuff he'd been listening to all his adult life put him into emotional motion the way that old swing music now did: And all this," he explained, "from listening to Vaughn Monroe.