Page 55 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

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doesn’t taste good to h im s e lf . . .’’She develops h e r own version o f
the Final Solution:
I p lanned an escape — a painless genocide, a pleasure-filled
life tha t would guaran tee the fu ture , would hold no te rro rs
o r persecutions. Marry ou t — each little Jewish girl has an
obligation to m a rry out, and then, and only then the chil­
d ren m ight be safe and the terrible tale o f Jewish history
would be done (pp. 57-58).
In h e r most recent novel,
Torch Song
(1977), Anne Roiphe
carries theory into practice — h e r heroine, Marjorie Weiss, does
indeed marry out. She is irrationally fascinated by, chases, and
finally contrives to marry Jim Morrison, a psychotic poet who
carries h e r o ff to Munich. T h e re she begins to feel the stirrings o f
awareness o f what being a Jew in a world occupied by Nazis is like,
bu t her husband tells her:
‘Don’t be such a sensitive Jew. Holocausts are common
hum an dramas and someone has to play the par t o f the
victim. T h e Jewish th ing isju s t history now.’ Existentially he
was right, and still despite my reasonableness, my natura l
control, I felt a special anguish as I walked down Maximil-
lianstrasse, where the trucks had been loaded with waiting
Jews . . . But on whom and how should I take vengeance . . .
(pp. 122-123).
But such moments o f inne r conflict are eased, apparently,
when at
a costume ball which strikes h e r as “a m ixture of
Halloween and Purim ,” Marjorie meets G erhar t Keller. Gerhart,
“an Aryan o f Aryans,” had been in the H itler Youth and at
seventeen was made an officer, bu t “late at n igh t” he would be
moved to tell “how Germany had destroyed its finest talent by
ridd ing itself o f Jews.” Moved to her very core, Marjorie finds
solace fo r h e r disturbed spirit in this “Aryan o f Aryans” who
expresses some unhapp iness at what the Nazis did. She takes the
young German to bed with h e r — he r first infidelity — and finds
tha t h e r discovery o f a German with some sense o f guilt is suffi­
cient to overcome the spiritual ravages the Holocaust has inflicted
on her. She re tu rn s to h e r well-to-do family, rids herse lf o f Jim
Morrison and gives h e r newly-born daugh ter the talismatic name
o f Faith because “Faith Morrison is a name tha t protects from