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Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts$
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Ezra Mendelsohn

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195112030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112030.001.0001

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The Frankist Novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Frankist Novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer

(p.118) The Frankist Novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer
Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts

Ezra Mendelsohn

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the two Frankist novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer, which are largely unknown even to literary scholars, aiming to make some contribution to a more comprehensive study of the subject. Jewish works of fiction, in both Hebrew and Yiddish, have evinced considerable and continuous interest in the messianic hopes of the times of Shabbetai Zvi and Jacob Frank. Although the evaluation of these phenomena differ, as do the descriptions given and the literary genres used, the literary treatment of these hopes is worthy of close attention beyond the purely literary standpoint—for such works often reflect the subject's continuing relevance in relation to modern ideologies and processes of modernization within Jewish society.

Keywords:   Frankist novels, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jewish works of fiction, Hebrew, Yiddish, Shabbetai Zvi, Jacob Frank

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