Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

Yosef Haim Yerushalmi has written that, for the people of Israel, “memory fl owed, above all, through two channels: ritual and recital.”1 For many Jews in the United States, and the writers among them, consciousness of these rituals has become at best a source of nostalgia, at worst an irrelevant burden. Recitation of the nation’s stories, an engagement with biblical narrative, with scholarly commentary and aggadic fabulation, is not possible for most. ...

read more

1. Mishkan: The Ungraven Image

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-36

In the Second Commandment of the ten received by Moses, God warns Israel: do not make or worship graven images resembling anything in heaven or the natural world. This prohibition is a familiar one. It is the reason synagogues are devoid of stained glass scenes of Adam and Eve. It is why there are no...

read more

2. Golem: The Seeker and the Sought

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 37-73

When Ruth Puttermesser in “Puttermesser and Xanthippe”1 fashions a golem in the middle of the night, she is giving tangible form, one is even inclined to say giving birth, to a number of her longings. Though she is the only Cynthia Ozick character to fashion a literal golem, like many of Ozick’s protagonists, Puttermesser’s golem is a foil for her narcissistic and Golem making has been interpreted as a celebration of the divine. ...

read more

3. Shekhinah: The Whole and Holy Mother

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 75-108

Nearly all of Cynthia Ozick’s female protagonists are unmarried, whether or not they are mothers. The narrative voice in many of her stories and novels expresses a consistent bias against ‘domesticated’ females; women whose minds appear to be subservient to the life of the body and whose bodies clearly belong, in the proprietary matrimonial sense, to men. The priorities set by Ozick’s women work against the disturbing association of ...

read more

4. Etz HaSadeh: Reconciliation with Nature

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 109-137

Trees are center stage in a number of Cynthia Ozick’s fictions.1 In “The Pagan Rabbi” the protagonist, Isaac Kornfeld, falls in love with an oak tree and the dryad who lives within her. Kornfeld describes his tree as “slender” (17). He calls her “Loveliness” (23). In Trust, trees are perceived by both mother and daughter as portentous vehicles of illumination. The daughter sees the tree accompanying her Bildung as possessing a “radiance” (424) and ...

read more

5. Shoah: Words in Spite of Themselves

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-168

More than in any of the Holocaust hauntings in Cynthia Ozick’s fiction, it is the scene of baby Magda’s murder and her mother Rosa’s paralysis that most wrenchingly causes the reader to suffer the horrors of the Shoah.1 Norma Rosen claims that fictional renderings of such events allow readers to “enter . . . into a state of being that for whatever reasons makes porous those membranes through which empathy passes, or deep memory with its ...

read more

Afterword

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 169-171

Cynthia Ozick’s fiction is often vilified as being too intellectual, too Jewish, and too hospitable to radical female characters. Simultaneously, her work is highly praised for its serious engagement with ideas, for attending to the ontological manifestations and implications of Judaism, and for celebrating women’s power. The often heated and contradictory reactions to Ozick’s work seem appropriate for a writer whose writing is indeed very complex, ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-213

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-227

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 229-235