Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenKapitelbegutachtet


Bernard Malamud is considered a fine novelist, a prominent figure of the Jewish Renaissance, and a master of short fiction. Much of the literature on Malamud's short stories has focused on his first two collections, The Magic Barrel (1958) - for which he won the National Book Award - and Idiots First (1963). This chapter heeds Michael Basseler and Ansgar Nünning's call to "strike a balance between wellknown, oft-anthologized stories and some lesser known ones," to avoid the "incestuous" repetition of scholarly inquiry into only a handful of short stories (Basseler and Nünning 2011, 4). While any attempt to classify Malamud's fifty-five short stories written between 1940 and 1984 will have its obvious limitations, this study pairing "The Jewbird" (1963) - a well-researched story - with "My Son the Murderer" (1968) - one of Malamud's most overlooked stories (Marx 2014) - seeks to shed new light on the artistic and thematic span of Malamud's short story writing produced during a decade raging with turmoil. Themes, such as father-son relationships and suffering, will also be explored. "The Jewbird" treats the interplay between elements of the fantastic and ordinary as well as characters who elicit both humor and pity, topics familiar to both the humanist's readership and scholars. In contrast, "My Son the Murderer" does not fit into scholarly categorizations of Malamud's short stories, such as those dealing with New York Jews, poor immigrants, artists and authors, Italians in Rome, or the relationship between African Americans and Jews. "My Son the Murderer" explores the breakdown in communication between father and son, their diverging views on life's purpose, and the despair of a young man called to serve his country in a war that he does not endorse.

TitelHandbook of the American Short Story
HerausgeberErik Redling, Oliver Scheiding
Anzahl der Seiten19
VerlagWalter de Gruyter GmbH
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-058523-0
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-11-058764-7, 978-3-11-058532-2
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 19.01.2022

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