In Memoriam of Samuel Beckett (and Raymond Federman): The Laugh that Laughs at the Laugh

In case you may not have noticed, the subtitle of Schlemiel-in-Theory is the “The Place Where the Laugh Laughs at the Laugh.”    The notion of a laugh that laughs at a laugh comes from Samuel Beckett; namely, from his novel entitled Watt.  There, we read: The bitter laugh laughs at that which is not good, […]

The Schlemiel and the Sabra or Portnoy’s Final Complaint

In The Schlemiel as Metaphor: Studies in Yiddish and Jewish American Literature, Sanford Pinsker devotes an entire chapter to the work of Phillip Roth.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Although the chapter is dedicated to Phillip Roth, the majority of the chapter is on Roth’s most popular and controversial novel, Portnoy’s Complaint.  For Pinsker, the […]