But the allure of it is too strong, and three weeks later he is in Persky’s apartment asking to be projected into Portnoy’s Complaint. Jews began to play an increasingly significant role in the general cultural life of New York. Between the two world wars, the Jewish community in New York evolved from an immigrant community divided by language, politics, and culture into an English-speaking, upwardly mobile American citizenry. But to escape that responsibility, Allen shows, is to escape to an illusion, and that illusion, no matter how seductive, can never last very long. Persky is also a satire of the quintessential New York Jew; he uses colorful colloquial expressions and has a pessimistic but relaxed outlook on life. But both Baxter and Cecelia soon find that the fantasy worlds they have entered have their pitfalls.

She thinks anyone can act and wants to be coached by the great Strasberg so she can win an Oscar. Kugelmass is dissatisfied with his life, and he yearns not for love but for a cheap idealization or glamorization of it that is the stuff of romance novels. During one of Cecelia’s daily visits to the fictional film The Purple Rose of Cairo to see her screen idol Gil Shepherd, the character Tom Baxter, played by Shepherd, turns to Cecelia and begins a conversation with her. During this season dairy dishes Kugel are often prepared because of several traditions: Rodolphe is Emma Bovary’s lover in the novel Madame Bovary. When Vaudeville theaters were replaced by nightclubs in the s and 40s, comedy became less physical and began to focus on language and observations about the incongruities and anxieties of life. He flees to the real world, where all he wants to do, he says, is lead a “normal” life, to “be real.

However, Kugelmass the literature professor does not realize these things at all.

One of the things Allen does in both these works is use the genre of comedy, which is supposed to provide happy endings, and infuse it with the unexpected, with sadness and absurd tragedy. He doesn’t really turn to art for solace; rather, art happens to present itself as a means for him to satisfy his lust. But he doesn’t learn from his mistakes, because the call of flesh epsode more powerful than that of his head.

The people around his condemn him because of adultery and this ruins his reputation. Kugelmass does not love his second wife, he does not want to divorce her.

The Kugelmass Episode

Many of New York’s leading entertainers, writers, artists and art patrons were of Jewish origin, and American intellectualism began to become closely associated with the New Kugelmass Jewish community. Inhe suffered a much-publicized breakup with his third wife, the actress Mia Farrowiugelmass he admitted to an affair with Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. When he has had enough, Kugelmass just has to give a yell and he is back in New York.

She thinks anyone can act and wants to be coached by the great Strasberg so she can win an Oscar. Kugelmass is also very much like Emma of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in that he is dissatisfied, selfish, and irresponsible, and has a ridiculous idealized notion elisode love and romance.


Caught in a bitter custody battle, his ex-wife alleging he had molested another of their children, Allen’s reputation suffered considerably, but he continued to make movies, and he and Previn married in Two short critical pieces on the story appeared in and issues of the Explicator discussing the work’s Jewish references and relationship to reader-response theory and criticism. For Kugelmass, things start to go horribly wrong when Persky’s transporter malfunctions and Emma Bovary is unable to return to her novel.

Rather than thinking that something crazy is happening, symbilism teachers think that their students are on pot or acid. Allen continued to produce hit symbolissm throughout the s.

More importantly, reality begins to set in, and in the end both are forced to return to their old lives, the only places where, they realize, they can really belong.

She marries a rural doctor, Charles Bovary but she is unhappy. He swears that he does not have an affair with another woman in his rest life. Allen’s Interiors, his first attempt at ghe drama, met with mixed success, but ‘s Manhattan, an autobiographical work shot in black-and-white, was admired by critics and audiences.

Retrieved February 22, from Encyclopedia. Allen’s story also demonstrates reader-response techniques when “enter the text” is interpreted as “read the text. Jewish families settled all over New York and the community set up hospitals, businesses, and cultural organizations.

He suggests the social-climbing title character of Theodore Dreiser ‘s Sister Carrie and the mad Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for example.

Comments of Dilek about English Literature: The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen

The story uses elements of Jewish humor, with the main character cast as a schlemiel, or bungler, the use of exaggeration for comic effect Kugelmass notes, for example, that Emma’s hotel tab reads “like the defense budget” and its concerns with the anxieties of urban life.

Indeed, the story can be viewed as a prototype for the film that appeared eight years later. One of the most interesting and marvelous techniques of “The Kugelmass Episode” is that symboliism protagonist literally enters the text. InAllen won an Oscar for Annie Hall, which was hailed as one of the first truly intelligent and complex American comedies. Between andthe Jewish population in New York City swelled from 60, to ougelmass than 1. Emma fits this role, but after the initial attraction between the two, the magic wears off and she means less and less to Kugelmass who is all but desperate to get Persky to send her symbolixm to her novel.

Allen throws in a number symbolis references in his story to classics of literature that reinforce the absurdity of Kugelmass’s quest and resound with his general predicament. Allen undercuts serious romantic moments often by using colloquial expressions and incongruities. Kugelmass tells Persky to always get him into the book before pagewhen the character Rodolphe appears. Nonetheless, “The Kugelmass Episode” continues to be read, being frequently anthologized in collections of American short stories, humor, and Jewish writing, and in was included in print and audio versions of an anthology of stories from The New Yorker.


But the cabinet explodes, Persky is thrown back and has a fatal heart attackand his house goes up in flames. Jews make up 2. She then locks herself in the bathroom and refuses to come out. Mandel, Persky, and even Kugelmass’s jealous colleague, Fivish Kopkind. Firstly, he married Flo and they have two children but they divorce. Emma, when she comes to New York, becomes a parody of an actress with aspirations to fame.

Fantasy in the story is seen on two levels. Allen is not saying that all art depicts a perfect world, but shows how audiences are seduced by it because of the alternative it offers to the complexity of the real world.

Mandel is Kugelmass’s analyst. When she finds herself unable to get back to the novel, she complains to Kugelmass that watching TV all day is boring; she wants to take a class or get a job. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. However, partly because of Allen’s enormous popularity and success as a filmmaker, “The Kugelmass Episode” and his other prose works have received almost no sustained critical or scholarly attention.

The ending to Cecelia’s story is more tragic and more poignant. The Great Persky asks Kugelmass what his pleasure is in terms of female heroines to have an affair with. Art in the story is kugwlmass escape from real life, with its fat and dull people and mundane situations.

The program often parodied Jewish manners, people, and culture and encouraged performers to be open about their Jewish identities. Allen decided when he was just a child that he wanted to write and tne movies. Initially, Persky has difficulties getting the magic kguelmass to work, but finally he is able to send her back to her novel, Kugelmass reverts to his old life but eventually returns to Persky again, this time asking for Portnoy’s Complaint.

Kugelmass internal conflict He is conflict with himself. This persona, taken from his standup routine, appropriated some of wymbolism techniques and types from the Jewish humorist tradition, for example casting the hero as a schlemiel, a bungler and lovable failure who is to be pitied. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two adopted children.

Allen departs from the traditions of comedy to bring into focus the shifting boundaries of art and reality and to show how people’s expectations of art influence their thinking not only about art but their lives as well. But to escape that responsibility, Allen shows, is to escape to an illusion, and that illusion, no matter how seductive, can never last very long.