By Miriam Sivan
Exhibits how Ozick's characters try to mediate a fancy Jewish id, person who bridges the variations among conventional Judaism and secular American tradition.
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Extra resources for Belonging Too Well: Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's Fiction (S U N Y Series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture)
The mammalian imagination results in idolmaking. ” Hencke, son of a German World War One veteran, husband to a simple American heiress, and lover to an intense, confrontational Jewish American woman, is a dilettante of sorts. His wealthy wife’s money enables him to have a private show in a prime New York gallery and buys him the prestige of a well-known critic’s presence and talk at the opening. He seems serious about his work, though he, like Brill, stops too soon. The hired critic points out that Hencke’s work is “an art not of hunger, not of frustration, but of satiation” (113).
During her opening gambit when she queries him about his copying, he explains that he does nothing of the sort: “I reënact” (125–26), he insists. At this point it becomes clear that Ozick is not simply dressing up a character in the garb of a visual artist. Once again she is intent on examining concerns underlying aesthetics in order to understand the ways in which history, interpretation, ethics, and the production of visual representation intersect. As in “Shots,” the act of creating images is embedded in a love story.
3 More often than not, personal and communal restorations become a palimpsest of impulses that literally piggyback on one another. Puttermesser wants to save herself from loneliness as much as she wants to save New York City from itself. Searching for Bruno Schulz’s lost manuscript, The Messiah, Lars Ademening makes the Polish author into a golem-redeemer who embodies the young Swede’s longing for personal and cosmic salvation. The same impulse can be located in “Virility,” “The DockWitch,” “The Doctor’s Wife,”4 and in Ozick’s most recent novel, Heir to the Glimmering World.
Belonging Too Well: Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's Fiction (S U N Y Series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture) by Miriam Sivan