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The Enigma of Isaac BabelBiography, History, Context$
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Gregory Freidin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759038

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759038.001.0001

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The Child's Eye

The Child's Eye

Isaac Babel's Innovations in Narration in Russian-Jewish, American, and European Literary Contexts

Chapter:
(p.175) 10 The Child's Eye
Source:
The Enigma of Isaac Babel
Author(s):

Zsuzsa Hetényi

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804759038.003.0010

The narrative method of the child's eye, reflecting the dual identity of succeeding generations, is a phenomenon that seems to be the most outstanding achievement of the Jewish literature of assimilation. This chapter attempts to define the substance of this innovation by focusing on the parallel motifs in the works of Isaac Babel, his Russian–Jewish literary predecessors, and his successors or followers in world literature, sometimes moving back and forth in time in order to isolate these overlapping motifs of different authors. These cross-national literary links, some of which can be followed up to this day, are a living proof that Russian–Jewish literature may be justly considered a particular tradition within world literature and one that is important in its own right.

Keywords:   Isaac Babel, assimilation, Jewish literature, Russian–Jewish literature

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