Vogel, Dan 1927–
Vogel, Dan 1927–
Born February 12, 1927, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Samuel and Esther Vogel; married Sybil Ehrenfeld, March 25, 1950; children: Simeon, Mindel, Jeremy. Education: Brooklyn College (now of the City University of New York), B.A., 1948; Rutgers University, M.A., 1949; New York University, Ph.D., 1956.
Yeshiva University, New York, NY, instructor, 1949-55, assistant professor, 1955-62, professor of English, 1962-73, dean of Stern College for Women, 1958-67; Michlalah-Jerusalem College, Jerusalem, Israel, professor of English, 1973-98, department chair, beginning 1976. Lecturer at City College (now of the City University of New York), 1957-58; visiting professor at Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, and Touro College, 1986-87.
Modern Language Association of America.
The Three Masks of American Tragedy, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1974.
Emma Lazarus, Twayne (New York, NY), 1980.
How to Win with Women, Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1983.
Mark Twain's Jews, KTAV Publishing (Jersey City, NJ), 2006.
Contributor to literature journals and religious magazines; associate editor of Jewish Bible Quarterly.
In regard to his first book, Dan Vogel once told CA: "The three masks of American tragedy are those of Oedipus, Christ, and Satan. My book is organized around attempts to show how American tragic works ranging from The Scarlet Letter to Death of a Salesman show essential characteristics of one or another of these ancient prototypes."
About his second book, Vogel stated: "As far as Emma Lazarus is concerned, she was a very popular poet in her day, and in her latter years she devoted her talents to Jewish causes. This combination in the 1870s and 1880s paved the way for the phenomenal acceptance of literature by American Jews about Jews by the general American public. Her poem ‘The New Colossus’ is engraved on a tablet attached to the Statue of Liberty, where it affirms the statue's role not only as a French gift to the United States, but as ‘Mother of Exiles.’ Lazarus recognized that the United States is a nation of immigrants and their children, and therein lies its greatness. Thus she speaks not only for the Jewish community, but for all ethnic groups in America."
With Mark Twain's Jews, Vogel studies the contemporary notion that Mark Twain (1835-1910) was an anti-Semite. Over decades, Twain mentioned Jews in his autobiographical writings, notebook entries, essays, newspaper articles, letters, and sketches. During this period some Jews saw these references as being well-intentioned but not entirely accurate observations about them. It was with the publication of Twain's "Concerning the Jews" in 1899 that his motives were more closely examined. Vogel brings to light every mention of Jews in Twain's writings and includes analyses by himself and others in a close study of Twain's observations. He concludes that Twain was, in fact, not an anti-Semite, but rather was fascinated by Jews, their culture, and their intelligence and business acumen, but, as was noted by Andrea Greenbaum in Shofar, his humorous reflections in "Concerning the Jews" "went awry." Greenbaum noted that the author "provides proof against Twain's antisemitism by illustrating Twain's myriad associations with notable Jews, including Theodore Herzl and Sigmund Freud, and by Twain's honorific descriptions of Jews in his writing." Greenbaum concluded: "While Vogel defends Twain as a journalist and humorist, he ultimately challenges us to come up with our own conclusions: ‘Your judgment is my reward for undertaking this study,’ he writes, and he asks us to consider Twain in all his human fallibility." Booklist contributor George Cohen wrote: "Vogel's documentation and analysis of the subject are absorbing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2006, George Cohen, review of Mark Twain's Jews, p. 55.
Journal of American History, June, 1981, review of Emma Lazarus, p. 154.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2007, review of Mark Twain's Jews.
Shofar, winter, 2008, Andrea Greenbaum, review of Mark Twain's Jews, p. 151.
KTAV Web site,http://www.com/ (May 20, 2008), biography.