Stanley Crouch Weighs In on Eric Cantor
Comment of the week
This week, we are suspending our usual comment of the week feature (only once!) to give space to Stanley Crouch, who had a provocative (and, yes, flattering) thing to say in the comments section of Allison Hoffman’s profile of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
This article shows, once again, how far behind American reality and the nuances of its unpredictable complexity domestic fiction remains. Eric Cantor could not be convincingly imagined or the basis of a variation made by Philip Roth or, in film by Woody Allen. Were Saul Bellow still with us, I am almost sure that he would have been thinking about Cantor and what his very existence says about the mysteriousness of Jewish or human probability. As Ralph Ellison was given to observing, “Americans have a stubborn habit of surprising you if you pay close enough attention.” I also agree with this because Marianne Williamson, who is now a homemade version of a faith healer, was a shock to west coast, midwestern, and eastern seaboard Jewish students when I was teaching in California because Marianne was from Texas, a southern belle to the gills, and was always glad to say, “I went to temple, too.” As always, American humanity is the true source of vanguard realization in all of our arts, which are too often dominated by well-meaning or simple-minded clichés.
Is he completely right? What, if any, American fiction has accurately captured “American reality and the nuances of its unpredictable complexity”? And no, you can’t just say The Great Gatsby (although do check out the mock 8-bit online Gatsby game!).
Related: The Gentleman From Virginia [Tablet Magazine]
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.