The Magic Barrel | Critical Essay by Cynthia Ozick

This literature criticism consists of approximately 9 pages of analysis & critique of The Magic Barrel.
This section contains 2,579 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Cynthia Ozick

In 1958, in his celebrated collection The Magic Barrel, Malamud published a short story about a Negro and a Jew. It was called "Angel Levine," and it contrived for Manischevitz, a Job-like figure who has "suffered many reverses and indignities," the promise of redemption through a magical black man [the angel, Levine]. (p. 80)

[The] narrative is altogether offhand about the question of the angel's identity: Levine is perfectly matter-of-fact about it, there is nothing at all miraculous in the idea that a black man can also be a Jew. In a tale about the supernatural, this is what emerges as the "natural" element—as natural-feeling as Manischevitz's misfortunes and his poverty. Black misfortune and poverty have a different resonance—Manischevitz's wanderings through Harlem explain the differences—but, like the Jews' lot, the blacks' has an everyday closeness, for...

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This section contains 2,579 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cynthia Ozick