Page 5 - Boca ViewPointe - June '21
P. 5

June 2021                                                      Viewpointe, Page 5

       Book Review from page 4

      Streisand, Jackie Kennedy and Ava Gardner, and many,   practicing Jewish authors. Yet no one would ascribe the   “Good Jews” and “Bad Jews.” Being a mensch wouldn’t
      many others; including a seventeen year relationship and   moniker “self-hating Jew” to Tom Stoppard. In contrast to   necessarily enhance your book sales, but Stoppard sought to
      marriage with the notable Jewish actress, Claire Bloom. Yet   Roth’s eternal chip on his shoulder, Stoppard forsook his   live an exemplary life. Stoppard also divorced two wives but
      he excoriated his two wives and marriages, not least because   youthful image as the rebel, wrote patiently and thoughtfully   treated them respectfully in the aftermath of their marriage.
      Roth was a serial adulterer who did not accept constraints on   about cosmopolitan themes rather than from spite and   He was a good father to Ollie and Barnaby and encouraged
      his behavior with regard to infidelity. There was no lack of   anger. Stoppard was encouraged to forget and obliterate   their relationship with their mother unlike Roth who even
      spite in his renditions of the people who disappointed him,   the trauma of his itinerant youth. He claimed not to be   treated his three stepchildren abominably as distractions and
      from friends, publishers, reviewers, rivals, all fed his drive   aware of his Jewishness (though his second wife Miriam   hindrances to his writing career.
      for success and celebrity.                         was an Orthodox Jewess), but accepted it later in life when      There are passing references to each other in the
         He endlessly rendered, revised, his zany, ego-driven   he wrote: “On Learning to Be Jewish.” On the contrary,   biographies. While Stoppard enjoyed a warm relationship
      fiction with its pretentious refashioning, misrepresentations,   Roth was embraced by his tribe, including meeting with   with Jewish Americans like Mike Nichols and Steven
      and corrections. Revealing that even a genius can be a   the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and   Spielberg, he did not seek out Roth who lived in London
      chump. Roth perceived himself to be driven to tell the truth   honored by Jewish institutions like Yeshiva University and   while married to Claire Bloom, perhaps as a reflection of
      in his art—even engaging in and writing about affairs with   Jewish Theological Seminary. About the same time that   their differing moral and literary sensibilities.
      his students—yet another of many betrayals of his faith.  Stoppard reconnected with his faith, Roth in “Imagining      There is also the greater breadth, patience and
         Both Stoppard and Roth can be accounted as non-  Jews” condescendingly  acknowledged that there were   disinterestedness of Stoppard’s oeuvre. Travesties and
                                                                                                           Jumpers have more intelligent wit and Arcadia and The
                                                                                                           Invention of Love have more brilliance than Roth’s ego-
         YOU have a choice who YOUR Physical Therapist can be.                                             suffused meanderings. Roth certainly hit a homer with his
                                                                                                           fine The Great American Novel and distinctive critique of
                    Outpatient Physical Therapy in your home.                                              anti-Semitism in The Plot Against America. His affection
                                                                                                           for Newark comes though notably in American Pastoral.
                                     YES we come to YOU!                                                   He had a challenging end-of-life with multiple hardships
                                                                                                           (bad karma?) which he ably represented in The Humbling

        - Orthopedic & Sports Injuries                        - Manual Therapy, Soft Tissue & Joint          and Nemesis among other works.
                                                                                                             From Homer and Sophocles to the authors of the Bible, to
        - Pre/Post-Surgical Rehabilitation                                              - Mobilization     Plutarch, to Boswell, (biographical) writers have stressed the
                                                                           - Vestibular Rehabilitation
        - Chronic Pain & Aches                                     - Balance/Fall Prevention Training      mission of literature, in Aristotle’s formulation, “to inculcate
        - Strains/Sprains                                        - Therapeutic / Corrective Exercise       virtue.” Bad boys are certainly making more interesting
                                                                                                           reading. You will come to admire Stoppard’s rendition of a
        - Headaches and Migraines                                           - Jaw Dysfunction & Pain       mensch who did it his way and will not put down Bailey’s
                                                                                                           life of Roth. “Not so good as Turgenev” as Chekhov
                Dr. Jenna Platt, DPT                                 10 years of Experience                described the writer of second class status—decidedly not of

              Experience the highest quality care on YOUR road to recovery!                                Nobel Prize stature. True to himself in death, a non-repentant
                                                                                                           Shaygetz, he proscribed the recitation of the Kaddish, the
                                                                                                           Jewish mourner’s prayer, at his burial.

                                                                                                              Dr. Ronald J. Meyers, a resident of La Paz, is an Emeritus
          OFFICE 561-907-8866                                                MEDICARE PART B/              Professor of English. 
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