Belonging Too Well: Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's by Miriam Sivan

By Miriam Sivan

Indicates how Ozick's characters try to mediate a posh Jewish identification, one who bridges the variations among conventional Judaism and secular American tradition.

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Additional resources for Belonging Too Well: Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's Fiction (S U N Y Series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture)

Example text

In the “Puttermesser Paired” chapter of The Puttermesser Papers,53 Ozick has coupled her serial heroine, Ruth Puttermesser, now in her fifties, with a visual artist. Rupert Rabeeno54 is a painter whose highly original work lies not in the degree of distortion or fragmentation he achieves, or in his use of a modern medium, but rather in the old-fashioned act of applying oil paint to canvas to achieve as close a likeness as he can to the famous works of the old masters. Watching him work in the French neoclassical room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Puttermesser is at first impressed with his technical skill.

This led to a loss of distinction between the forces of good and evil, which henceforth, intermingled in the world. ”90 The power to release the sparks scattered over the face of the earth lies, according to Luria, within each and every Jew. The everyday common person, not great rabbis, leaders, or philosophers, has the responsibility to restore the holistic untainted corona of light enveloping and comprising the world. 36 Belonging Too Well Visual artists, whose preoccupation is as much with light as it is with form, work with the raw material of creation.

Goldsmith claims that the creation of the golem is for the maker a conquering of his or her darker aspects. ”3 More often than not, personal and communal restorations become a palimpsest of impulses that literally piggyback on one another. Puttermesser wants to save herself from loneliness as much as she wants to save New York City from itself. Searching for Bruno Schulz’s lost manuscript, The Messiah, Lars Ademening makes the Polish author into a golem-redeemer who embodies the young Swede’s longing for personal and cosmic salvation.

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Belonging Too Well: Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's by Miriam Sivan
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