Download A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity, and Memory by Norman Ravvin PDF

By Norman Ravvin

Concentrating on the best way Jewish historical past - really the Holocaust - and culture tell postwar Canadian and American Jewish literature, this article bargains readings of the works of influential writers corresponding to Saul Bellow, Leonard Cohen, Eli Mandel, Mordecai Richler, Chava Rosenfarb, Philip Roth and Nathaneal West. Norman Ravvin highlights the worries that those disparate writers proportion as Jewish writers in addition to areas their paintings within the context of the wider traditions of mulitculturalism, postcolonial writing, and significant thought.

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And Edith of their own deaths. Immediately before Hitler's entrance, the two friends and lovers bemoan the failure of their sexual and spiritual odyssey as they gaze out at a landscape that seems to resonate with this uncanny premonition: "A great sadness overtook us as we looked out over the miles of sea, an egoless sadness that we did not own or claim. Here and there the restless water kept an image of the shattered moon. We said good-by to you old lover" (193). F. acknowledges, as he writes of this goodbye scene, that he and Edith realized they had gone over a precipice, crossing into territory from which they would not return: "We did not know when or how the parting would be completed, but it began at that moment" (193).

39 Taking the Victims' Side Richler does not resort in the novel to the invidious stereotype of the Nazis' victims going quietly "as sheep to the slaughter/' but the valorization of action and resistance over compromise and passivity comes close to invoking this simplistic interpretation of the Holocaust. The inability of the Jews to defend themselves against Nazi violence, alongside the politic unwillingness of the Jews of Montreal to meet violence with violence, inform Jake's impassioned interest in Joey, Mengele, and St Urbain Street.

6 It is this suspicion that has led contemporary architects to reject what they judge to be the exhausted forms of their predecessors: nineteenth-century historical facades bearing tableaux of national and mythic heroes; and the neoclassicism exemplified by public buildings whose style, borrowed from Revolutionary France and ancient Greece, promotes "the ideal of universal laws ... science, art, government and justice" (Muschamp 30). After the shock of this century's killing fields these public myths no longer thrill us, and architects have begun to find inspiration for their buildings in "narratives which resonate with the history of a specific place" (Shubert 44) and which derive their inspiration from "personal stories grounded in life" (Perez-Gomez 14).

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