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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). Article Number 110. E-ISSN 2076-0787. (doi:10.3390/h9030110) (KAR id:82866)

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https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/h9030110

Abstract

Looking at short stories by writers as diverse as Brian Glanville, James Lasdun, Jonathan Wilson, Ruth Fainlight, Clive Sinclair, Jonathan Wilson, James Lasdun, Gabriel Josipovici, Tamar Yellin, Michelene Wandor, and Naomi Alderman, and extending from the center of British Jewish British writing to its margins, the 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 dis-easeunease pervading so many British 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 British Jewish British short story emerges as a multifaceted and hybrid project in continuous progress.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/h9030110
Uncontrolled keywords: Jewish British writing; British Jewish British short stories; Anglophone Jewish writing; Holocaust writing; Antisemitism; Patterns of identification; Fragmentation; Dislocation; Dissolution; Israel in literature
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Depositing User: Axel Staehler
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2020 15:01 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2020 11:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82866 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Stähler, Axel: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2044-9687
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