Gimpel the Fool Essay

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A highly respected American critic, Kazin is best known for his essay collections The Inmost Leaf (1955), Contemporaries (1962), and On Native Grounds (1942), a study of American prose writing since the era of William Dean Howells. In the following excerpt from a review of Gimpel the Fool, and Other Stories, Kazin discusses Singer's combination oftraditionalJewish and modern liteary conventions, focusing on his use of the archetypal fool figure of Jewish literature.

When I first read "Gimpel the Fool "... I felt not only that I was reading an extraordinarily beautiful and witty story, but that I was moving through as many historical levels as an archaeologist at work. This is an experience one often gets from the best Jewish writers. The most "advanced" and sophisticated Jewish writers of our time—Babel, Kafka, Bellow—have assimilated, even conquered, the whole tradition of modern literature while reminding us of the unmistakable histonc core...

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This section contains 1,694 words
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Gimpel the Fool from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.