Why There Is No Jewish Narnia (Jewish Review of Books)

via Why There Is No Jewish Narnia > Publications > Jewish Review of Books:

Some readers may have already expressed surprise at my assertion that Jews do not write fantasy literature. Haven’t modern Jewish writers, from Kafka and Bruno Schulz to Isaac Bashevis Singer and Cynthia Ozick, written about ghosts, demons, magic, and metamorphoses? But the supernatural does not itself define fantasy literature, which is a more specific genre. It emerged in Victorian England, and its origins are best understood as one of a number of cultural salvage projects that occurred in an era when modern materialism and Darwinism seemed to drive religious faith from the field. Religion’s capacity for wonder found a haven in fantasy literature.

This is the first time Bookbread has encountered labeling Kafka under Victorian Fiction since, apparently, anything that was both literary and fantastic came out of that era. Atrocious. (But what can you do?) Thank goodness there’s nothing supernatural or fantastical to be found in the märchen der Brüder Grimm und Martin Buber….


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