Thursday July 2nd, 2009

Rediscovering Rogin

lowbrow-readerIn the new issue of the Lowbrow Reader, Jay Jennings writes about the work of Gilbert Rogin, whose stories and novels had touches of Woody Allen and were praised by Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike, among others. Trying to figure out why Rogin’s work went out of print “in short order,” Jennings chalks it up to timing, since Rogin “was writing at the very apex of the market for protagonists who were middle-aged, Jewish, Manhattanite male intellectuals/writers and musers. . . . A cursory glance at Rogin could have convinced us that we’d heard it all before.” But he concludes:

In the end, Rogin’s books deserve to be read and reread for one simple reason: They’re funny. Along the way, feel free to be wowed by his pinballing imagination, his linguistic dexterity and his masterly ability to see clearly what is right in front of our faces but unnoticed until he pointed it out.

Jennings’ piece is available online. The issue also includes a previously unpublished story by Rogin called “My Masterpieces.” For that, you’ll have to buy the magazine.