Page 39 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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tions o f the d isp e r se d S eph a rd im from western to ea s tern
Europe . C onsider ing his earlier novels, we can anticipate that his
historical account — based on meticulous research rather than
au tob iography — will illuminate the presen t as well as recreate
the past.
As various as their individual talents and styles so, too, C an a­
dian writers have their personal gradation o f proximity to Ju d a ic
texts and Jew ish practices. But whether their attachment re fers to
a religious faith, national culture, or ethnic g roup , they are con­
jo in ed by the awareness o f belonging to an identifiable society
within the Canad ian mosaic. T h e d eg ree or quality o f Jew ish
consciousness is never constant, being continuously de fined anew
by each individual. What these d ispara te writers share, however,
is the deeply ingrained memory o f imm igran t otherness, the most
salient feature o f their literary artifacts.
Now that the dynamic force o f that experience has largely been
spent, the writing o f Canadian Jew s, released from the old d e ­
pendencies and constraints, begins to respond to new currents , to
reveal new horizons. Whether the fu tu re writings will contain as
deeply ingrained , recognizable accounts o f Jew ish reality as those
which have been o ffe red in the past depend s, however, on the
prospects fo r continuities and resilience which lie beyond the
determ inations o f literature.