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Free summary and analysis of the events in Bernard Malamud’s The Magic Barrel that won’t make you snore. We promise. Complete summary of Bernard Malamud’s The Magic Barrel. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Magic Barrel. Bernard Malamud’s short story, β€œThe Magic Barrel,” was first published in the Partisan Review in , and reprinted in in Malamud’s first volume of short .

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Having read The FixerI can see how these stories are rudimentary exercises in short fiction, with the quality of being bedside stories or myths.

Refresh and try again. The first three commandments disappear, not broken but evaporated! But the characters in The Magic Barrel are imprisoned by their jobs – even when in some cases financially secure – jalamud the point where it becomes a conscious effort, a suffering sought out, an objective to cloud tthe exactly but that large war?

A waste without redemption. This is my baby, my Stella, she should burn in hell. In Finkle’s case sympathy is as much his leitmotiv as fish is Salzman’s.

Near the end of the story Finkle himself recognizes that Salzman has perhaps planned this outcome from their first encounter. Salzman seems greatly dismayed when Leo falls in love with Stella.

Salzman eagerly unstrapped his portfolio and removed a loose rubber band from a thin packet of much-handled cards. The Stories of John Cheever. Written in Hebrew characters and based on the grammar of medieval German, Yiddish was the common language of many European Jewish communities.

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But more important, her innocence clarifies the puzzling ending when the reader is told that Salzman is chanting a prayer for the dead. Unable to believe, he dismisses him. Rationality must be rejected in order to find personal purpose.


He is unkempt in appearance and smells of fish. He manages to unveil their basic urges and characters with a few well-defined descriptions of them. One evening in the fall, George ran out o Superb, beautifully crafted stories of marriage brokers, lovelorn shoemakers, angels and innocents abroad.

The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud, |

There are dozens of similar stories in Salzman’s magic barrel. I also found many of the stories to be inspired by other works, but re-worked in a Jewish-American lens. Human love is a reflection of Divine love and, rhe, true love is always within the limits of the Divine will expressed in the commandments and elsewhere.

Salzman is much a matchmaker as a salesman, and he draws the proposed matches from his “magic barrel” where you are never quite sure who you will find in it, and who they are on paper and in Salzman’s descriptions may not be exactly who they are in reality.

Ah, this is a book about life all right, but it’s a book in which the vision is almost tunnel vision. Now let us pause for a while and reflect. The title story focuses on the unlikely relationship of Leo Finkle, an unmarried rabbinical student, and Pinye Salzman, a colorful marriage broker.

Like a Malamud protagonist β€” just imagine me as an elderly Jewish shopkeeper or baker β€” I’ll just have to move forward in spite of my ignorance and confusion, magi toward some kind of acceptance, even if it turns out to be a false kind.

The Nazis did it. Love, I have said to myself, should be a by-product of living and worship rather than its own end. Many years ago I read Malamud’s “The Fixer” and never forgot it.


I simply do not understand why. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Amazon Barrek Stream millions of bernardd. If I had read Malamud’s National Book Bsrnard collection The Magic Barrel in such an atmosphere, we probably would have talked about how several of these stories, written in the s, contain grief-stricken echoes of the Holocaust, his Jewish characters victims of a kind of identity-based PTSD.

Not going to get into it too deeply except to say that Malamud is a master of the short story. The escape never succeeds as planned, but sometimes there is an intrusion of unreality, an escape unlooked for, a modest little god apologetically climbing down from the machinery, bringing a cobbled together miracle. We start by noting that Leo is a final year rabbinical student about to obtain a doctoral degree from Yeshiva, a highly prestigious university.

Che senso ha, scrivere, senza cercare se stessi? And Freeman, stunned by the suddenness of it – the power of those few words – is, like the reader, made to understand that he will never be able to prove that he, too, is Jewish.

The jobs and their manifest suffering actually are defense mechanisms against that utmost horror: Written in Hebrew characters and based on the vocabulary and syntax of medieval German, the Yiddish language was spoken by many European Jews and mqlamud American immigrant descendants. Finkle knows the word but not the spirit; and he makes it clear that in a secret part of his heart he bernnard it.

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