Bloodshed, and Three Novellas (Magill's Literary Annual 1977)
The three novellas and the short story Bloodshed which comprise this book concern pursuit. Stanislav Lushinski, the protagonist of A Mercenary, is pursued by the Nazis in his boyhood and by his identity as a Jew in his maturity. In Bloodshed Bleilip pursues knowledge of the Hasidic tradition he is skeptical of, and in An Education Una Meyer, a naïve academic, searches for ideas and a lifestyle more exciting than a career in the Classics. The narrator-writer of Usurpation (Other People’s Stories) pursues the imaginative and voyeuristic appropriation of human behavior which the “magic crown” in the story represents, the storyteller must commit himself to, and the Jew’s abhorrence of the miraculous forbids.
Stanislav Lushinski seems a public and private success. Having survived as a Jew in Poland during, and in Russia after, World War II, he has become the citizen-ambassador of a recent African nation, an attractive mystery to the American TV public, and a sexual baron who maintains a mistress in New York, is said to have a boyfriend in Switzerland, and appropriates (as he has from the beginning of his stay there) any woman he fancies in his adopted country. His image emphasized by a lean physique and by a sure and ironic manner, he displays the cunning of the survivor, for little is...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1977)
Bloom, Harold, ed. Cynthia Ozick. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. This collection covers Ozick’s works to 1983. Although many of the pieces are brief book reviews, Ruth R. Wisse’s review essay on “Bloodshed” is particularly illuminating, and Victor Strandberg’s contribution includes a brief discussion of Ozick’s novellas. Bloom’s introduction is interesting for its treatment of Ozick’s essays.
Currier, Susan, and Daniel J. Cahill. “A Bibliography of the Writings of Cynthia Ozick.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 25, no. 2 (Summer, 1983): 313-321. A complete listing of Ozick’s works. Its usefulness is limited by the 1983 publication date, but it is helpful for citation of lesser-known works.
Friedman, Lawrence S. Understanding Cynthia Ozick. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991. An entry in the Understanding Contemporary American Literature series, this book is designed for those unfamiliar with works that use nontraditional literary forms and techniques.
Kauvar, Elaine M. Cynthia Ozick’s Fiction: Tradition and Invention. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. A close reading of Ozick’s oeuvre. In the chapter “The Dread of Moloch,” the links between the novellas in Bloodshed and Three Novellas are revealed, and Ozick’s sources and references are thoroughly explored.
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