Gerald Rosen has seen America from most every vantage point. He grew up in a house without books, obtained an ivy league Ph.D. in literature, and went on to run a liquor store on the edge of Harlem. He’s crossed paths, in one way or another, with Miles Davis, Jack Kerouac, Janis Joplin – even Babe Ruth. So his observations about American culture carry his own particular brand of authenticity. And what he sees has him a little concerned. “We each of us are born into this culture, so we start getting in a sense hypnotized the day we’re born,” he notes. “So we’re Americans – we walk like Americans, we talk like Americans. This is our social inheritance. But this culture, it’s not working for us. There’s something missing. There’s some hunger, some dryness, some hollowness to our culture.” How we got to that place of hollowness, and how we can begin to fill it, is the subject of this provocative interview with this very American author.
Gerald Rosen, Ph.D., holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in American history and literature. He has been called a “master of comedy” and a “poet of the one-liner.” His books include Blues for a Dying Nation (Dial Press 1972), Growing Up Bronx (North Atlantic Books 1984) and Cold Eye, Warm Heart: A Novelist’s Search for Meaning (Calm Unity Press 2009). To learn more about the work of Gerald Rosen write to JerryDutch@aol.com.
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- What is the side of Dostoyevsky no one knows
- Which American writers brought Buddhism to the American novel
- Where the religious fundamentalists get it right-and wrong-about our culture
- Why American culture is like professional wrestling
- What is the one feature of American life no one talks about
Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 11/6/2009 Program Number: 3328