Pacino’s Shylock — An Offer He Can’t Refuse

By Jack Engelhard

 

The hottest ticket for the upcoming season on Broadway is Al Pacino (again!) as Shylock in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.” Pacino, at 70, appears to be making Shylock his career at a time when hate crimes against Jews scale in at 65 percent – higher, by the way, than any other group. (Seven percent against American Muslims.)

 

We can only wonder why Pacino is so drawn to this play that is clearly the most anti-Semitic in all literature. Even Harold Bloom cites “Merchant” as “The lasting harm done by Shakespeare.” This play, in fact, has nurtured a blood libel so vast that blame for the Holocaust can be shared by Hitler together with Shakespeare.

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Writers Should Stay Home

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Once, yes, I did give in. I went on the Today Show and was interviewed by Matt Lauer. That’s when Indecent Proposal first came out. First my novel, then the Paramount movie.  When I watched the replay I kept referring to myself as “That guy.” As in, “Who is that guy and what is he talking about?” I wondered why “he” had no eyebrows. Was it the lighting? I came in with eyebrows!

 

Why is “he” not more glib? He is awfully glib at home. Where is the wit? Where is the wisdom? Where is the charm? I had it when I left the house.

 

My agent at the time and all the rest them said I did “beautifully.” What they meant was – I did not make a COMPLETE fool of myself and that makes it “beautiful.”

 

I mean it – writers should stay home. We have no business going out there to market. That’s why God invented salesmen. That’s why we write. So we won’t have to sell. It’s called – or used to be called – the gift of gab. We should have it for the typewriter, but not for the camera or the microphone. Most of us – novelists – are grumpy and moody and that’s no way to make a sale.

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Ground Zero Mosque an Act of War

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

First they came for our Twin Towers. Now they come to build upon the ruins.

 

The New York skyline has always been the symbol of American power. This, then, is the prize. Imagine our skyline dominated by a grand mosque.

 

A minaret is to rise from the ashes.

 

This is intended to be the ultimate sign of American submission and Islamic superiority.  

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John W. Cassell on Indecent Proposal

What follows is a review of my novel Indecent Proposal, which has recently been re-issued by iUniverse. The novel was orignally published in 1988 by Donald I. Fine. It was then republished in 1993 by Pocket Books as a movie-tie, to coincide with the Paramount movie of the same name featuring Robert Redford and Demi Moore; based on my novel. The movie was huge, taking in $266 million box office internationally. The novel was translated into more than 22 languages. ComteQ Publishing then published a third edition — and now, here’s the iUniverse edition with a new cover and new intro. [This now is the only authentic version] But the novel is the same, same as I wrote it back in the mid-1980s on a kitchen table, sweat pouring down for the lack of air-conditioning. Next thing I knew translations of it were coming fast and furious from all over the world, and there we were walking the red carpet in Hollywood. Between takes in Vegas, Robert Redford said, “You wrote the novel?” I pleaded guilty. “Nice job,” he said.

Redford also said, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel.” I told him to stick to his day job. He was doing all right as an actor.

So what follows are the words of John W. Cassell. I’ll take tributes like this any day, from a writer of such high stature. Read HIS books! 

Jack Engelhard

 

 I was very pleased to discover that Jack Engelhard is re-releasing his Leviathan INDECENT PROPOSAL on iUniverse.  It should be “up” on amazon within the next few days. [Ed Note: The iUniverse edition, published July 9, 2010, is now up and available at Amazon]

 

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Spare the Pieties on Gaza– Jack Engelhard

Frankly, given a choice, I prefer the skinheads and other brutes who express their anti-Semitism openly. In such places, we know the enemy.

 

But please spare me the pieties and the righteous indignation of those “good people” protesting throughout Europe against Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza. True, thousands have taken up banners in support of Israel. At the same time, however, the streets of Europe (and even some in America) are in an uproar. These are the “humanitarians” – the good, the noble, the refined who chant “Peace.”

 

Now you’re up and about? Now you speak? Where were you when, throughout the years, thousands of Jihadist bombs fell on Israel? The streets of Europe were empty. There were no pictures in the newspapers of grieving Jewish mothers and fathers. You called it “peace” as long as the Arabs were doing the killing and the Jews were doing the dying. All was well with the world.

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Reflections On JD Salinger

By Jack Engelhard

[I wrote and posted this reflection on Salinger back in August on my blog at Amazon. Except for the news that was current at that time, the rest of this piece holds true for me, as, I’m sure, it holds true for so many other readers and writers who loved Salinger, and are today so saddened by word of his passing. A writer like this comes around only once in a lifetime, Thank you — JE]

Salinger can’t hear? That’s hard to take.

Do we really need to know that JD Salinger “is now totally deaf?” That’s a quote being attributed to someone who knows him.

As a novelist who names Salinger as one of his literary heroes, I can say what strangeness it is to blurt out such news. I don’t doubt the truth of this revelation, but I do wonder why it got out from his gatekeepers. They must have known it would make headlines – and not in a good way. Already there are parodies of his aging (he’s 90) and headlines that term him “frail and deaf.” (Shades of Howard Hughes?) I hope we’re not gloating.

This is a man, Salinger, who’s kept himself fiercely reclusive for an entire generation – and there is no counting the number of writers who owe him allegiance. Along with Whitman, Twain and Hemingway, Salinger liberated American literature. I don’t think I could have written “The Girls of Cincinnati” without getting Salinger’s permission.

Salinger did not influence me, but he did inspire me.

(Novelists tend to be influenced by their forefathers at the start but eventually they have to let go and go it alone.)

We know almost nothing about Salinger except for the writing. That’s been the deal. Salinger is all about the sanctity of the novel, which is why (through his lawyers) he went to court to stop publication and distribution of an alleged rip-off of “The Catcher in The Rye.” Salinger’s argument has always been that his writings do the talking. That is all we need to know about him.

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