By Elaine Kauvar
Remarkable novelists deserve satisfactory literary research. Cynthia Ozick has discovered such critics... such a lot lately in Elaine Kauvar, whose current paintings is concurrently a profound contribution to Ozick interpretation and an astonishingly readable account of the novelist's principles and creative manner.... hugely recommended.? —Choice"... entire and fantastically written... "? —Studies within the Novel"... an indispensible paintings of scholarship.... ?ќCynthia Ozick's Fiction, in sum, demonstrates an astute and complete clutch of either Ozick's writings and the mammoth shop of writings that impact her... a definitive and indispensible study... "? —American Literature"... a unprecedented mixture of painstaking scholarship with striking serious intelligence and inventiveness." —Edward Alexander"... Elaine Kauvar's entire and wonderfully written examine of Cynthia Ozick's fiction may be welcomed as a heroic counter-cultural manifesto, either in what she says and within the beauty with which she says it." —Congress MonthlyLooking past the stereotype of Ozick's paintings as American-Jewish literature, Kauvar illuminates the intricacies of Ozick's texts and explores the dynamics of her creativity. Kauvar presents readings of all of Ozick's fiction from her first released novel, ?ќTrust, via ?ќThe Messiah of Stockholm.
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Extra resources for Cynthia Ozick's Fiction: Tradition and Invention
Each episode in "Duneacres," from the initial experience the narrator has in front of the tree to the final revelation she gains in Huntingdon's house, brings her progressively closer to the truth, to full understanding. " Then the sun slides away, taking its light from the tree, and she knows herself to be "profane"— profane because irreligious, because uninitiated (481). Refracting and reflecting the sunlight, the tree resembles the Inverted Tree in the Zohar, which illuminates the secret relationship of God, human beings, and the universe.
The wedding party is pagan; theirs is an activity that resembles the eruption of the jewelweed's spasmodic seedpods. " In the iron barrel images of fertility—the fish and the water—mingle with images of death—the cartridge shells and the drawing of the poisonous hellebore (193). It is a point of view that clarifies the significance of halves: they augment the competing perspectives confronting someone in the middle of everything. As if to foreshadow the significance of the events on Tilbeck's yellow beach at Duneacres, Ozick concludes part 2 with a metaphor in which yellow predominates: "a dozen years later … Enoch stood at the doorway of his ambassadorship and … as its price, I was sent to my father's unknown doorway, the yellow, dank, and unknown doorway" (205).
There, as Dorothy Van Ghent points out, they are combined with the ''theme of 'seeing' (the theme of the developing consciousness)" (700, 695). Not to be an eavesdropper is to be an "intruder," in front of whom Allegra and her husband invest "every conversation with a Doppelgänger" and force the narrator to retreat to that "wafer in the air on which one accumulates reality" (219, 220). " 15 That such an explanation of history occurs near the beginning of part 3 implies that its revelations are necessary but insufficient: the narrator must assess the meaning of the events she has ascertained from her mother's letters in Brighton.