Friday, June 24, 2016

A literary life...

...Cynthia Ozick’s Long Crusade
But Ozick, however fierce her identification as a Jew, is admirable in her freedom from identitarian parti pris. T.S. Eliot’s rank anti-Semitism does not blind her to his poetic virtues; she praises Tolstoy’s early novel “The Cossacks” despite its whitewashing of genocidal Cossack violence against Jews (Ozick’s ancestors among them). Above all, she resists the idea that writers are, or ought to be, representatives of a certain group, for it is then that “imagination flies out the door, and with it the freedom and volatility and irresponsibility that imagination both confers and commands.”

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