Show Less
Restricted access

‘Essenced to Language’

The Margins of Isaac Rosenberg

Nayef Al-Joulan

Rosenberg was more than just a war poet. A general failure to take this into consideration has contributed to the belated recognition of the distinctions of his work. A working-class London Jew, he schooled himself, long before the Great War, to respond to issues of class, culture, art and poetry; a combination of dependency and self-sufficiency which sustains his mature work, and which gave him a sense of himself as an Anglo-Jewish poet. To illuminate Rosenberg, Nayef Al-Joulan considers the conditions of the Jewish community in the East End of London at the turn of the century and examines the writer’s attitudes to the Zionism in vogue. He also investigates striking echoes of Freudian psychology in Rosenberg’s work. Tracing Rosenberg’s working-class literary heritage, Al-Joulan underlines a modern Jewish insight that has parallels with Marx and Freud and therefore uncovers the role class and race played in the critical marginalising of Rosenberg. The book concludes by examining Rosenberg’s cognitive ekphrasis, his idea of language as a vehicle for mental essence, a perception rooted into the painter’s mind.
Contents: The Margins of Jewishness: A Jew in the East End – Literary Margins: Intellectuals, Artists and the Masses – Language Essences: The Margins of Tradition and Talent.