David B. Suchoff

Professor of English

Office: Miller Library 312 [ campus map ]
Box 5286

Phone: 207-859-5286
Fax: 207-859-5252
Mailing Address:
5286 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8852
Office Hours:
Fall 2012: Tu and Th 11:00-12:00, W 1-2
Suchoff, David B.


Ph.D. Comparative Literature, U.C. Berkeley

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
EN120C ALanguage, Thought, and Writing: Thinking about Language
EN238 AArt of Fly-Fishing: Maine and Bishop, California
EN271 ACritical Theory
EN323 AVictorian Literature I
EN493C AIreland and Otherness: James Joyce's Ulysses and Early Writings

Professional Information

On Dec. 13, 2012, David Suchoff will be giving a keynote lecture on Kafka entitled "Irreducible Pluralities" at the International Conference on "Kafka and the Paradox of the Universal" at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, Dec. 12-14 2012. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kafka-and-the-Paradox-of-the-Universal/409798925750212 Review of David Suchoff, Kafka's Jewish Languages from Choice: Suchoff, David. Kafka's Jewish languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition. Pennsylvania, 2012. 266p index afp; ISBN 9780812243710, $65.00. Reviewed in 2012jul CHOICE. Many literary critics have alluded to Kafka's Jewish roots and the influence of Hebrew and Yiddish in his writings. Suchoff (English, Colby College) here offers readers the last word on the subject. Focusing on the short story "The Judgment" and three novels--America, The Trial, and The Castle--the author provides a meticulous analysis of the linguistic and cultural sources that the "Jewish" languages gave Kafka. This study is a tightly knit exposition of previous research and a presentation of the author's own close literary analysis. Suchoff gives all citations in English with immediate translations into German. He also places Kafka within the cultural world of Yiddishkeit in Central Europe. The conclusion is clear: Kafka wrote in German and lived in Czech Prague but was never far removed from his Jewishness. This challenging study convincingly amplifies the linguistic origins of Kafka's genius. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- S. Gittleman, Tufts University. David Suchoff received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from U.C. Berkeley, and is Professor of English at Colby College. He is author of Critical Theory and the Novel: Mass Society and Cultural Criticism in Dickens, Melville and Kafka (University of Wisconsin Press, 1994), editor, with Mary Rhiel, of The Seductions of Biography (Routledge, 1995), and has published on theory, as well as American, British, Israeli, and Yiddish literature. He is a translator of and author of the Introductions to Alain Finkielkraut's The Imaginary Jew (1994) and The Wisdom of Love (1995); his translation of and Introduction, with Willi Goetschel, to Hermann Levin Goldschmidt?s The Legacy of German Jewry was published by the Fordham University Press in 2007. His book Kafka's Jewish Languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition appeared with the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012.


On Franz Kafka, "A Country Doctor"
Read About Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (1951)
Suchoff on Wittgenstein as a Jewish Philosopher

Critical Theory and the Novel provides a useful introduction to Benjamin and Adorno and their uses in practical criticism. It is also a study of the historical origins of literary theory and cultural criticism and a contribution to the expanding field of Cultural Studies. University of Wisconsin Press.
"Smuggling in the Warsaw Ghetto" by Peretz Opoczynski, Introduction and Translation by David Suchoff, Pakn Treger: Magazine of the National Yiddish Book Center, Fall 2006/5767, no. 52, pp. 32-37.
"Kafka's Languages: Hebrew and Yiddish in The Trial and Amerika, in Doris Sommer, ed., Bilingual Games: Some Literary Investigations (New York: Palgrave/MacMillan, 2003), pp. 251-274.
David Suchoff and Willi Goetschel, ?Das Verm?chtnis des deutschen Judentums: Hermann Levin Goldschmidts unzeitgem??e Betrachtung,? Neue Rundschau 116, Jahrgang 2005:4, December 2005, pp. 168-173.
David Suchoff, "Kafka's Jewish Languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, 15:2, 2007, pp. 65-132.
The Legacy of German Jewry, by Hermann Levin Goldschmidt, Translated by David Suchoff, Introduction by Willi Goetschel, and David Suchoff, $50.00, ISBN: 9780823228263, Fordham University Press, 224 pages, 2007.
David Suchoff, "Franz Kafka, Hebrew Writer: The Vaudeville of Linguistic Origins," Nexus: The Duke German and Jewish Studies Yearbook, 2012.
David Suchoff, Kafka's Jewish Languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.
David Suchoff, "Family Resemblances: Ludwig Wittgenstein as a Jewish Philosopher," Bamidbar, 2012:1 pp. 75-92.
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