When Potok was about fifteen years old

When Potok was about fifteen years old - When Potok was...

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Unformatted text preview: When Potok was about fifteen years old, he read Brideshead Revisited , by English novelist Evelyn Waugh. By his own admission, Potok was impressed. He has commented about the novel, "Evelyn Waugh reached across the chasm that separated my tight New York Jewish world from that of the upper-class British Catholics in his book. I remember finishing the book and marveling at the power of this creativity." Although doing so was frowned upon in his religious training, he read more secular literature, including James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , which greatly influenced him. Reading novels that challenged his Jewish beliefs, he wondered whether it was possible to be a Jew and an American simultaneously, asking, "Was it possible to live in a religious culture and a secular culture at the same time?" Potok treasured his Jewish religion and culture but believed that change was necessary and...
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