Samuel Ornitz and "Haunch, Paunch and Jowl"

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Samuel Ornitz and "Haunch, Paunch and Jowl"

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Jan 14, 2011, 11:07pm

Last night I started Haunch, Paunch and Jowl. Published in 1923, originally as "An Anonymous Autobiography," this stream-of-consciousness novel of the immigrant Jewish experience in the sweatshops of New York's Lower East Side was actually written by Samuel Ornitz. In doing an internet search about this book, I found a fascinating column on Ornitz by none other than Harvey Pekar, published on the website in 1997.

Pekar's column begins thusly:

"IF ANYONE remembers Samuel Ornitz at all today, it's as a screenwriter who was one of the Hollywood 10; his reputation as a novelist didn't survive the 1920s. Despite the neglect, Ornitz is a significant literary figure whose work deserves to be kept in print and read by anyone who cares about the evolution of the American novel.

Born in 1890, Ornitz is a link between Yiddish-speaking, foreign-born American novelists such as Anzia Yezierska and Abraham Cahan, who were mainstream stylists, and the daring Jewish fiction writers of the 1930s: Daniel Fuchs, Nathanael West and Henry Roth.

Ornitz belonged to a forgotten avant-garde movement that employed stream-of-consciousness techniques before the 1922 publication of James Joyce's Ulysses brought the method to general attention."

The rest of the column in here:
It's quite interesting!

Jan 17, 2011, 6:27pm

Rocket- you came up with quite a gem here!