The human stain novel summary

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the human stain novel summary

An Open Letter to Wikipedia | The New Yorker

Note: "The Human Stain" contains a significant secret about one of the characters. This review discusses it. And this isn't a movie like 'The Crying Game,' which is really about its secret. It is one he has lived with all of his adult life. Coleman Silk is a professor of classics at a university whose stature he has enhanced. One day he notes that two students have not attended class.
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19. Philip Roth, The Human Stain

Worlds within words

The Human Stain is a novel of identity that revolves around the love affair of two people who could not be more opposite. Coleman Silk is a classics professor, a man who was once well respected in his small community before an accusation took from him the identity he spent fifty years creating. Coleman's lover, Faunia Farley, is an illiterate woman who is being stalked by the ex-husband who blames her for the death of their two small children. This love affair creates a scandal in their small town that is only rivaled by President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. From award winning author Philip Roth, The Human Stain is a statement on twentieth-century morality that could not have been voiced as well by any other writer.

Its first person narrator is year-old author Nathan Zuckerman , who appeared in several earlier Roth novels, and who also figures in both American Pastoral and I Married a Communist , two books that form a loose trilogy with The Human Stain. A national bestseller, The Human Stain was adapted as a film by the same name directed by Robert Benton. The story is told by Nathan Zuckerman , a writer who lives quietly in New England, where Coleman Silk is his neighbor. Silk is a former professor and dean of faculty at nearby Athena College, a fictional institution in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Silk is accused of racism by two African-American students over the use of the word spooks , using the term to describe their absence from the classroom like ghosts rather than in the racially derogatory sense.

It is , the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging.
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I am Philip Roth. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all. Thus was created the occasion for this open letter. This alleged allegation is in no way substantiated by fact. One day in the fall of , while Mel, who was meticulous in all things large and small, was meticulously taking the roll in a sociology class, he noted that two of his students had as yet not attended a single class session or attempted to meet with him to explain their failure to appear, though it was by then the middle of the semester. Having finished taking the roll, Mel queried the class about these two students whom he had never met.

What ironies are involved in Silk being charged with racism when he himself is black? By denying his own racial identity has he turned it into a kind of ghost? Is Coleman in any way responsible for his own destruction? Delphine Roux appears to act on behalf of the aggrieved students, but what other motives does she have for orchestrating the attack on Coleman Silk? Is she aware of her motivation? What discrepancies are revealed between her public position and her emotional struggles?


  1. Reilisgeti says:

    The New Canon focuses on great works of fiction published since

  2. Scott L. says:

    As Roth wrote in the novel, Silk chose "to take the future into his own hands rather than to leave it to an unenlightened society to.

  3. Reresmodo says:

    The Human Stain is a novel of identity that revolves around the love affair of two people who could not be more opposite. Coleman Silk is a classics professor.

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