Between or Beyond? Jewish British Short Stories in English since the 1970s

Stähler, Axel (2020). Between or Beyond? Jewish British Short Stories in English since the 1970s. Humanities, 9(3), pp. 1-18. MDPI 10.3390/h9030110

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Looking at short stories by writers as diverse as Brian Glanville, Ruth Fainlight, Clive Sinclair, Jonathan Wilson, James Lasdun, Gabriel Josipovici, Tamar Yellin, Michelene Wandor, and Naomi Alderman, and extending from the center of Jewish British writing to its margins, this article seeks to locate the defining feature of their ‘Jewish substratum’ in conditions particular to the Jewish post-war experience, and to trace its impact across their thematic plurality which, for the most part, transcends any specifically British concerns that may also emerge, opening up an Anglophone sphere of Jewish writing. More specifically, it is argued that the unease pervading so many Jewish British short stories since the 1970s is a product of, and response to, what may very broadly be described as the Jewish experience and the precarious circumstances of Jewish existence even after the Second World War and its cataclysmic impact. It is suggested that it is prompted in particular by the persistence of the Holocaust and the anxieties the historical event continues to produce; by the confrontation with competing patterns of identification, with antisemitism, and with Israel; and by anxieties of non-belonging, of fragmentation, of dislocation, and of dissolution. Turned into literary tropes, these experiences provide the basis of a Jewish substratum whose articulation is facilitated by the expansion of Jewish British writers into the space of Anglophone Jewish writing. As a result, the Jewish British short story emerges as a multifaceted and hybrid project in continuous progress.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > American Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Literary Theory

UniBE Contributor:

Stähler, Axel

Subjects:

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures

ISSN:

2076-0787

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Axel Stähler

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2021 10:48

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2021 06:51

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/h9030110

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/153080

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/153080

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