Ethnic identities in Bernard Malamud's fiction


The present study has been divided into five general chapters each of which is centred around a basic issue related to ethnic identities. This central issue may be more or less specific, largely depending on its nature and on the corpus it comprises: for example, chapter two, which bears the general title "the old country and the New World", is naturally the most extensive because of the great scope of this theme and the number of works it involves, two novels and a considerable number of stories, including the very long "Man in the Drawer. By contrast, the last chapter, entitled "Beyond Race into Myth: Seeking the Liberation of the Self", is logically the shortest because its focus is restricted to a particular function of ethnic identities, metaphorically speaking, in Malamud's fantastic works, the novel "God's Grace" and one short story. Similar proportions between length, complexity of theme and corpus treated are maintained in the three central chapters, which focus on ethnic aspects which are neither as general as chapter two nor as specific as chapter six.