"Something Dreadful and Grand"
American Literature and The Irish-Jewish Unconscious
Reviews and Awards
"Stephen Watt does more than decipher texts in this book-he watches them like a hawk and pounces thrillingly when he finds what he wants waiting for him, a breathtaking game that perceives what deeply connects cultures and comic imaginations, basking in and brooding on their reflections. A brilliant book, that comes at the right time."--Frank McGuinness
"Consistently thoughtful, thought-provoking and enjoyable, Stephen Watt's 'Something Dreadful and Grand' offers a brilliantly incisive exploration of the ambivalent and often uncanny sense of affinity that exists between Irish and Jewish experiences of ethnicity, immigration and diaspora. This is a book that is broad-minded and eye opening; its context is that of the 'Circum-Atlantic,' and its material ranges from 19th century popular melodrama to classic 20th century modernist texts to New York stand-up comedy in the 1960s."--Lionel Pilkington, author of Theatre and Ireland
"Stephen Watt's inventive study examines the affinities and anxieties shared by Irish and Jewish cultures, revealing the vital role this dynamic relationship has played in American drama since the nineteenth century. His trenchant analysis of a provocative array of texts, practices, and performances attests to the merits of combined ethnic study."--Paige Reynolds, author of Modernism, Drama, and the Audience for Irish Spectacle
"Impeccably researched and incisively written, Stephen Watt's 'Something Dreadful and Grand' brilliantly illustrates how the simultaneously alluring and repulsive nature of Irishness and Jewishness underpins much American (and Irish) literature since the mid-nineteenth century, ranging over a series of authors from the neglected to the canonical, and in the process permanently and illuminatingly changing our conception of what it means to be American."--Richard Rankin Russell, author of Modernity, Community, and Place in Brian Friel's Drama
"Ploughs a deep furrow in the new and exciting field of Irish-Jewish studies." --Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies