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, “The Magic Barrel,” was first published in the Partisan Review in , and reprinted in in Malamud’s first volume of short .

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One can easily read this collection of stories thinking very little about the Holocaust, but it is the Holocaust that actually makes these stories. The story is divided into five sections overtly, that is, by nalamud on the page. If reading fiction critically is a menage a trois of narrative, aesthetics, and thematics, then I have more or less mastered the first two and too often ignore the third.

This book made me long for the warm swaddle of classroom discussion. Unlike the typical Salzman profile, Stella’s dime-store photo suggests that she “had livedor wanted to—more than just wanted, perhaps regretted how she had lived—had somehow deeply suffered. Published July 7th by Farrar, Straus and Giroux first published He said something to the effect of Malamud being a character’s favorite author because he understood loneliness.

The Magic Barrel: Stories: Bernard Malamud, Jhumpa Lahiri: : Books

Its power is evident whether you seek a deeper level of meaning or not. Showing of 26 reviews. Each of the much handled cards from Salzman’s “magic barrel” represent a person whose aloneness is a counterpart of his own.

Life is full of personal shortcomings, a bald spot, a stubborn rejection of family, an inability to swim or make money. The collection sold well, and was praised by reviewers for its honesty, irony, and acute perception of the moral dilemmas of American Jews. The realism that dominates most of the text is disrupted with bizarre and grotesque images like flying loaves mqgic bread, and violins and candles revolving in the sky.

But worry we must. In other words, he might be chanting for the metaphorical resurrection of his daughter. The endings of the stories are varied, from unfortunate to funny to content, and they do leave Stories that begin with an account of the main character, including their profession, disposition, economic status, family descriptions, etc.


Indeed, it is Finkle’s highly stylized movement toward Stella that turns him into a saintly fool, at least fhe the sense that his goal of spiritual regeneration is incommensurate with his activity. Pinye is a poor, undignified representative of the old, repressive system that must be broken through for true maturation to take place. Malamud did not begin writing seriously until after World War IIwhen the horrors of the Holocaust became known to the international community.

A waste without redemption. I had to really hunt in it for the reference to a barrel. In Malamud published his first novel, The Natural, a poignant treatment of the American hero as baseball player. I came to God mgic because I loved him, but because I did not.

Stella is condemned so as to make her more attractive to Leo. Although it was still February, winter was on its last legs, signs of which he had for the first time in years begun to notice. They decided to do more; that is, they think they are choosing good when they decide to do it their own way.

Why is it called The Magic Barrel? – Magic Barrel

Not going to get into it too deeply except to say that Malamud is a master of the short story. Nearest to my heart was A Summer’s Readingin which a high school dropout gets no respect til one day he tells a neighbor that he will read books in one summer. As it turned out, the stories in The Magic Barrel were amazing.

After hearing that he would have better job prospects if he were maic get married, Leo decides to consult a matchmaker. Jul 04, Dan Lalande rated it really liked it.

Few books of any kind have managed to depict struggle and frustration and heartbreak with such delight, or such artistry. Rabbi Smolinsky has devoted his life to study of the Torah, and insists that his daughters work to support him as he continues his studies in America.


Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. The Fascists sent us there. On some level this is probably fine — we have to be selective about what we process in the art we absorb, or else we would go insane trying and failing to understand everything.

But the fish was also an early Christian symbol, and long before that an important pagan symbol, associated with no other than the Great Mother Goddess herself. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

Why is it called The Magic Barrel?

In Finkle’s case sympathy is as much his leitmotiv as mgic is Salzman’s. If, however, we had only the above parallels few would bother searching for the more particular parts of the parallel structure. Mabic to Book Page. But more important, her innocence clarifies the puzzling ending when the reader is told that Salzman is chanting a prayer for the dead. They are all male. This last story focuses on Kessler, the defiant old man in need of “social security” and Gruber, the belligerent landlord who doesn’t want Kessler in the tenement anymore.

We notice the mention of his walking cane even as Moses carried a staff. Apr 13, Tony rated it really liked it Shelves: If you want thirteen superb stories to illustrate that sad point of view, here they are. In part four, parallel to Numbers in which the methods and choices in the redemption story become clear, Salzman offers Leo yet one more chance bernarr avoid evil. If his plan has been all along to educate Leo barrrl the necessity of passion, then it would be inconsistent with that plan for Salzman to mourn just when he has succeeded in bringing the lovers together.