Focus Written in Focus was Arthur Miller s first novel and one of the first books to directly confront American anti Semitism It remains as chilling and incisive today as it was at the time of its con

  • Title: Focus
  • Author: Arthur Miller
  • ISBN: 9782283019146
  • Page: 427
  • Format: Paperback
  • Written in 1945, Focus was Arthur Miller s first novel and one of the first books to directly confront American anti Semitism It remains as chilling and incisive today as it was at the time of its controversial debut As World War II draws to a close, anti Semitism is alive and well in Brooklyn, New York Here, Newman, an American of English descent, floats through a worlWritten in 1945, Focus was Arthur Miller s first novel and one of the first books to directly confront American anti Semitism It remains as chilling and incisive today as it was at the time of its controversial debut As World War II draws to a close, anti Semitism is alive and well in Brooklyn, New York Here, Newman, an American of English descent, floats through a world of multiethnic neighborhoods indifferent to the racism around him That is, until he begins wearing glasses that render him Jewish in the eyes of others, making him the target of anti Semitic persecution As he and his wife find friendship and support from a Jewish immigrant, Newman slowly begins to understand the racial hatreds that surround him A strong, sincere book bursting with indignation The New York Times Book Review

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      Published :2019-09-26T05:41:23+00:00

    One thought on “Focus”

    1. A chilling study into the rise of anti-Semitism during the closing stages of the second world war that centres on Mr Newman a personnel manager living with his mother who on a regular basis witnesses the abuse of his neighbours and locals who are of different race and culture but chooses to turn a blind eye and just get on with his life. But after he starts wearing glasses he is mistaken for a Jew and persecuted, so begins internally to question what drives ordinary people to act this way and ho [...]

    2. I had already seen and enjoyed a number of plays written by Arthur Miller when I came across a copy of “Focus”. I opened it thinking that it would be another of his plays, but was surprised to find that it is a full-length novel. It was first published during the Second World War in 1945. My copy (Penguin Modern Classics edition, 1986) contained an interesting introduction that Miller wrote over 40 years later, containing his explanation of Anti-Semitism.The hero, Lawrence Newman, lives in a [...]

    3. This was a very powerful novel. Despite its short length, Miller here has written a very thought-provoking and enlightening story, that of a man in 1940s New York, swept up in the dark and increasing undercurrent of anti-semitism which was at that time growing like a cancer among some people. Despite the book being written more than seventy years ago, it still seems very relevant and important in the face of current anti-Islamic rhetoric and the struggles of other minorities to gain civil rights [...]

    4. Arthur batte Ferdinand 10 a 0Potrei lisciare il pelo ai miei quattro lettori su raccomandazione ( in realtà lo sto facendo) raccontando di averlo scovato intonso tra i libri trasportati in campagna alla rinfusa: intonso e con un anobino vivo e vegeto che vi passeggiava sopra. N. 52 della primavera del 1966. Sicuramente comprato sull’onda emotiva del film di Visconti di qualche anno prima trasmesso in tv; messo da parte per impegni scolastici ( esami di V ginnasio) prima e per pregiudizi mutua [...]

    5. Just who is the main character in Arthur Miller's Focus? Is is Mr. Newman or Mr. Finklestein? Only if the reader makes Mr. Finklestein the main character can you actually see that Arthur Miller thought anti-Semitism to be wrong. I humbly feel that the real focus of Focus is the persecution of Mr. Finklestein for nothing more than being "Jewish". I want to call it shocking how anti-Semitic almost the whole cast of characters (even Mr. Newman) are but the real truth is that I know that religious, [...]

    6. Man, this book opened my eyes to a piece of American history I had no idea happened. A short-sighted man, a gentile, avoids wearing glasses because they accentuate those features of his that bring to mind the stereotypical face of a jew. A dangerous image at a time when America is going through a nasty phase of anti-semitism, looking to blame the jews for all their problems; the economy, the war, the perceived decline in their neighbourhoods. When his eyesight gets so poor it noticably affects h [...]

    7. Who knew Arthur Miller wrote novels? Certainly not me before reading Focus! It is very clear when reading this novel, that Miller is also a playwright. The style is incredibly cinematic; the narrator hangs over characters and seamlessly drops in and out of their lives, the action in this book is dramatic and I think that its psychological dimension would be enhanced if performed. There is, without a doubt, a blurring of styles in Focus which makes it so readable and also so thought-provoking. Ar [...]

    8. This is a really fantastic and true to life novel and also the only novel Arthur Miller ever wrote. It tells the story of time in American history flooded with anti-semitism and too close to our own time to feel like the racism is fully behind us. Newman, a man living in post World War II Brooklyn, holds the same level of anti-semitism that is brewing in the neighborhoods around him. He has gone about apathetic to his ignornant bigoting until his eyesight forces him to get glasses that cause him [...]

    9. Though ultimately the feeling after reading Focus is that something was missing -- something that could have earned the novel five stars and masterpiece status -- Focus is still a quality read and highly recommended. Miller is adept at creating rich characters with real personalities and inner souls, at generating suspense through foreshadow, and at involving the reader through conflict. The theme is looking the other way when your fellow man is in distress leads to yourself falling victim to th [...]

    10. A bold and powerful attack on the wartime anti-Semitism prevalent in America prior to the revelation of the full extent of the holocaust's horrors. Written with wit and Orwellian simplicity, Miller shows the supposed evils of the semitic character to be a mere reflection of the suspicions a collective with an identity (in this case, the good Christian folk of America) would like to express towards all humans, their distrustworthy selves included, projected onto an "other". Penned by a man better [...]

    11. 1945 novel focusing on one man's response to anti-Semitism after a new pair of eyeglasses makes him "look like a Jew." A bit dated but still powerful and provocative. Ignorance and hatred of "the other" is sadly timeless.

    12. This book exposes the reality of evil people that exists in this world who hate other people simply because of appearance, race, religion and stature in life.

    13. "O que o senhor vê que o deixa tão louco quando olha para mim?" (Pag. 208). . A história se passa em New York, perto do fim da segunda guerra. O clima é extremamente hostil para os judeus, seja pela guerra (muitos os consideravam os causadores dela, logo, culpados), mas principalmente pelo preconceito formado. O personagem, Lawrence Newman, não é propriamente um antisemita, mas ignora o tratamento rude, hostil e violento que é destinado aos judeus no meio em que vive até ele precisar usa [...]

    14. Casi hasta el final, me ha caído muy antipático el personaje del señor Newman y casi me alegraba de lo que le estaba ocurriendo. Miraba por encima a los demás, creyéndose superior a personas con trabajos menos cualificados que el suyo o de otra raza. Es vergonzoso que, en una de las primeras escenas del libro, hiciera caso omiso de la agresión a una mujer solo porque era latina y ya debía de estar acostumbrada a que le pegaran. Sin embargo, hacia el final del libro, empiezo a sentir compa [...]

    15. An anti-Semite gets glasses which he thinks make him look more Jewish. Pretty soon the rest of the world begins to agree with him. Not sure if Arthur Miller means that everyone in the 40s was constantly on the lookout for Jews, or if Newman's increasingly deferential and victimized behavior caused the change. Most likely the former; it's not a particularly subtle book.There's a moment of clarity towards the end which is superb, followed by some rather believable mental fumbling as Newman comes t [...]

    16. Que se siente cuando tu vida da un giro de 180 grados y de golpe te encuentras formando parte de aquellos a quienes hasta hace un minuto odiabas y despreciabas?Que se siente cuando todo el odio que enviaste al aire vuelve para golpearte en el pecho como un bumerang ideológico?Que se siente sentirse desprotegido y víctima, luego de pasar toda tu vida señalando acusadoramente y haciendo daño?La única forma de responder estas preguntas será tras recorrer las páginas de esta obra literaria im [...]

    17. Prachtige roman die leest als een thriller. Meesterlijke observaties, heerlijke setting in het New-York van de jaren '40 en een helaas nog steeds actuele thematiek: jodenhaat en racisme in het algemeen.Miller is een kei in het beschrijven van de menselijke geest en drijfveren en de zoektocht naar identiteit.Onvoorstelbaar dat dit pareltje uit 1945 heeft moeten wachten tot in 2017 om vertaald te worden.

    18. It's an important book and shows the insidiousness of anti-Semitism, but it's just SO SLOW. Maybe that's what it takes for someone to begin to question their prejudices, but it just felt so formal, even stiff (which was mostly due to the main character).

    19. interesting examination of anti-semitism and prejudice, wth a main character who is easy to hate but it is interesting to see him change and learn as the novel progresses and his anxieties are realised.

    20. Amazing novel, in which Miller explain's how the U.S. itself had problems with minority rights back then when everyone who could escape, escaped from the old Europe for the same reasons. The main character Mr. Newman actually fights with his own fears and demons. He just wants to stay in his comfort zone. Ultimately that wouldn't be possible because he also becomes suspicious. The movement which fights against ones which are different and against minorities is rising and he finds himself in the [...]

    21. Ein amerikanischer Angestellter benötigt eine Brille und wird damit für sein Umfeld plötzlich zu einem Juden. Und er wird auch entsprechend behandelt. Eine Geschichte über Rassismus und Vorurteile und darüber, wie sich der Blick verändert, wenn man plötzlich auf der anderen Seite steht.

    22. It's not often I give five stars, but this had to have them. I picked up on the book while reading Roth's 'I Married a Communist', the latter's books being in part about being Jewish in America. The treatment of that subject here is much more brutal and I compare it with Marge Piercy's 'Gone to Soldiers'. The writing is hard and effective, being of the highest quality with few words wasted; as one would expect of a playwright, the dialogue is particularly good.The book's principal character, Mr [...]

    23. This was a remarkable book for 1945. And I love Miller's plays. However, there is a clumsiness to the prose, particularly before the story of Itzak in Poland. After that the story recovers and there is a stronger, more confident, voice and it is tighter and faster paced, particularly after Newman and his wife see the war movie. Still, the premise of the glasses is a bit contrived, and Newman's marriage to Gertrude adds little to the plot except as a mechanism for her to inform him of who and wha [...]

    24. Though written in 1945, Focus is a book that is very contemporary. Since 2001, the prejudices in modern world have become more pronounced, and tolerance to other 'ways of life' significantly diminished. Hence, a book written about a man who passively indulges in these prejudices until he falls on the other side of the line of favor is very relavant reading. Once faced with such prejudices, the man realizes how much of his anti-semitism was based on mere perception and had not been reconciled wit [...]

    25. A Brilliant psychological look into the mind of a bigot! The despicable things, people are ready to do, just to be “in” the club. But when a pair of spectacles turned Newman into a Jew in eyes of the world, he started to realize how arbitrary the rules of being “in” and “out” are."On that street," the policeman said once more. "How many of you people live there? " "well!," said Newman, wetting his lips . . . and stopped.The policeman waited for the information, looking up at him. Mr. [...]

    26. Un uomo ben inquadrato nella società in cui vive,(la New York,l'America del fine guerra),vittima degli stessi pregiudizi e degli stessi luoghi comuni:la razza,la religione,il colore della pelle,la nazionalità.Quando all'improvviso,a causa di una piccola modifica che egli è costretto a fare al proprio aspetto (portare gli occhiali) la sua vita cambia radicalmente.All'improvviso e gli sembra un ebreo.E,nel clima di forte antisemitismo che lo circonda,egli si accorge di come cocciutamente,inesor [...]

    27. I really don't know how to explain my feelings on this book. It was a good book, technically. It was well written. But here's the thing: I didnt enjoy it in the slightest. At all. I was so relieved to reach the final page. And for a few reasons. One being the plot. I know there was a lot more to this story than a man who was percieved as being Jewish because he wore glasses. But I couldn't get past it. I realize at the time, this actually happened. But reading this as a young adult in 2012, it j [...]

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