The Magic Barrel | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Lawrence Jay Dessner

This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of The Magic Barrel.
This section contains 7,553 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lawrence Jay Dessner

Critical Essay by Lawrence Jay Dessner

SOURCE: "The Playfulness of Bernard Malamud's 'The Magic Barrel'," in Essays in Literature, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring, 1988, pp. 87-101.

In the following essay, Dessner discusses Malamud's self-conscious blending of fairy tale motifs and elements of realism in "The Magic Barrel" and the story's resultant ambiguity, irony, and playfulness.

Although Bernard Malamud's "The Magic Barrel" has already been granted that intimation of immortality which derives from frequent reprinting in anthologies designed for college undergraduates and their mentors, criticism has yet to do the story the justice of explicating its ambiguities or attending to the ironic playfulness which is their ground. From the first, a symptom of critical unease, caused by the story's inconsistent allegiance to the conventions, or clichés, of literary genre...

(read more)

This section contains 7,553 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lawrence Jay Dessner