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The Golem in Jewish American Literature

Risks and Responsibilities in the Fiction of Thane Rosenbaum, Nomi Eve and Steve Stern

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Nicola Morris

The Golem in Jewish American Literature explores the golem in the fiction of Thane Rosenbaum, Nomi Eve and Steve Stern as well as writers such as Michael Chabon. Nicola Morris sees this clay humanoid, created in Jewish legend for practical and spiritual purposes, as a metaphor for power and powerlessness and for the complexities and responsibilities surrounding the act of creation. Further, she employs the golem figure as a device to examine the problematic Holocaust representation in the second generation, the uncertain boundaries between fiction and historiography, the ethics of intertextuality and the writer’s responsibility to literary, folkloric and oral sources. Morris concludes with an impassioned plea for the responsible uses of power, technology and language.