LITERARY FICTION In the "golden triangle" world of Porsches rather than Portias, many of the characters are drawn as caricatures: the manipulative It girl turned reality TV star called Plurabelle; the dim-witted footballer who's been sent off for making a Dieudonné-style Nazi salute on the pitch without realising what it meant; the sinister art connoisseur who submerges his residual anti-Semitism under a polite veil of high culture and non-racism (the latter is a chillingly believable picture of modern prejudice). To give credit where it is due, there is something at least theoretically ingenious in the way Jacobson re-engineers the love plots from the original so as to bring about his own large surprises. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. This is Man Booker Prize winner Jacobson’s (J, 2014, etc.) Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Shylock, who’s accustomed to more overt religious conflict, observes: “The times have grown nice.” Strulovitch replies: “Appearances can be deceptive.”. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. With deft prose, Jacobson takes things a profound step further: Shylock might actually be a subconscious projection from Strulovitch, that part of Strulovitch that values wealth and selfhood. Strulovitch, after all, “knew how important it was to have money”: “You needed to be rich. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
Shylock Is My Name approaches a strange singularity as Jacobson stages this crass (but still somehow quite scholarly) reading of The Merchant of Venice. RELEASE DATE: Oct. 1, 2019. Though believing she is cursed, Cilka shows great courage and fortitude throughout: Indeed, her ability to endure trauma—as well her heroism in ministering to the sick and wounded—almost defies credulity. Why couldn't it have been, for example, the penis? | A retelling of 'The Merchant of Venice' that, says Lucasta Miller, is supremely stylish, probing and unsettling Via a series of connections and coincidences, it’s D’Anton who introduces Strulovitch’s teenaged daughter, Beatrice, to Gratan Howsome, a footballer who’s notorious for his Nazi salute goal celebration and penchant for Jewish women. Shylock Is My Name is published by Vintage (£16.99). The marriage failed because he refused to play up to his wife's overly romantic views of his Jewish heritage (she imagined noble Cordoba; he offered her dirty jokes from the shtetl). ‧ GENERAL FICTION, by
This article was amended on 15 February 2016, to correct a reference to a “12th-century collection of Anglo-Jewish art” which should have read “20th-century”. The exhibition runs from 25 September 2016 to 1 January 2017, Jo Applin from the Courtauld Institute of Art looks at Green Tilework in Live Flesh by Adriana Vareja, which features in a new exhibition, Flesh, at York Art Gallery.
Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Review: Shylock is My Name is a book I have been pining to read since I heard about it. t’s hard to imagine that the commissioning editors for the new Hogarth Shakespeare series had to deliberate for long before deciding which contemporary novelist should take on. One man, Simon Strulovitch, is visiting his mother’s grave and trying to clear his head of the various distractions of fatherhood and professionalism. Mind you, the brilliantly grim opening sentence sounds more apt for the kind of humdrum Greater Manchester town where Jacobson grew up: “It is one of those better-to-be-dead-than-alive days you get in the North of England in February, the space between the land and sky a mere letter box of squeezed light, the sky itself unfathomably banal.”. Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson, book review. If humour, it misses (or did for me). The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare series in which writers are asked to reimagine one of the plays. Hogarth Shakespeare £16.99. There are two big twists at the end.
Horrified, the couple flee to Venice while Strulovitch threatens to report D’Anton to the police for procurement. Think of, well, think of what Shakespeare did with Shylock. Run Spot Run Book Reviews © 2020. When he chose a Jewish second wife, his father welcomed him back, but she was tragically disabled by a stroke. He never uses his braininess to cynical or meretricious ends. Now 73, he’s a fantastic advert for the benefits of starting late. One of the most distressing aspects of The Merchant of Venice is Shylock's betrayal by his daughter Jessica, who runs off with her Christian lover and steals her father's money, which she ultimately spends on a monkey in an act of frivolous yet obscurely symbolic bizarrerie. The exhibition named 'Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Hieroglyphen' showing the complete collection of Berlin's Nationalgallerie works of the German artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and will run from 23 September 2016 until 26 February 2017, A man looks at portrait photos by US photographer Bruce Gilden in the exhibition 'Masters of Photography' at the photokina in Cologne, Germany. Jacobson’s characters are modern counterparts to Shakespeare’s, but the novel also carries the original story beyond the bounds of the play—at least, for one character.
As in Tattooist, the writing itself is workmanlike at best and often overwrought.
On the strength of what we've seen so far I'm looking forward to them. ", “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
But it also does so at a structural level, building on ideas latently present in The Merchant of Venice to bring Shylock’s own story to a surprising but strangely satisfying resolution. His father disowned him for marrying outside of his faith first time round.
The narrative is intercut with Cilka’s grim memories of Auschwitz as well as her happier recollections of life with her parents and sister before the war. With a nod to Philip Roth, Jacobson has an awful lot to say on the subject. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
Although Portia gives him every chance to be merciful, there is something faintly shabby about the “no jot of blood” trick she pulls when he refuses (all it really shows is that he has been playing in a rigged game from the start), and there is something downright chilling about the sentence of forced conversion that follows. Not some approximate fictional counterpart, but the real Shylock, who appears one day in a Gatley cemetery, cut loose from the constraints of his story and apparently able to transcend time and place like the Wandering Jew of legend.
These modern retellings could not capture his spirit better.
The 38-year-old Swiss artist and atheist Christian Meier set the crescent on the peak to start a debate on the meaning of religious symbols - as summit crosses - on mountains. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? While his debates with Strulovitch thrash out the nature of vengeance, duty, fatherhood and history, it is through the ongoing dialogue he keeps up with his deceased wife, Leah, that Jacobson softens him, allowing him a humanity – and a tragedy – beyond victim or villain. The Russians accuse her of collaborating—they also think she might be a spy—and send her to the Vorkuta Gulag in Siberia. He is also addicted to self-analysis. But alongside Shylock and Strulovitch, these characters appear as comic types, gaudy tabloid cartoons who converse in quips. In his provocative and profound interpretation of The Merchant of Venice , Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson juxtaposes the unforgettable character of Shylock against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. And yet the novel remains compelling, and if you can ignore the thinness of these sections, there is actually an intriguing thesis being developed. Retrieve credentials. Energetic, authentic and biting, this imagery could be from a song by The Smiths, but the story acquires an unreal edge as Simon Strulovitch, a Jewish self-made millionaire art collector, visits a cemetery where he meets Shylock, the villain or victim, depending on how you look at it. It may be unfair to compare Shylock Is My Name to Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time (Hogarth Shakespeare’s first release), as Jacobson and Winterson are remarkably different authors, but it’s curious to observe how both approach the task of retelling such canonical plays. He opens in a cemetery where a wealthy Jewish art collector named Strulovitch is visiting his late mother and pondering the latest misadventure of his teenage daughter, Beatrice. The exhibition runs at the Kunstverein (art society) Reutlingen until 15 January 2017, Fan BingBing (C) attends the closing ceremony of the 64th San Sebastian Film Festival at Kursaal in San Sebastian, Spain, A view of the artwork 'You Are Metamorphosing' (1964) as part of the exhibition 'Retrospektive' of Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo at Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany.
", Strulovitch says his wife, whose terminal illness is one of the novel’s missteps, accused him of “Judaeolunacy” for keeping Beatrice away from gentile boys at the same time as he slams fellow Jews for observing religious rituals.
But the other, in which one of Shakespeare’s great speeches is reallocated to (and reconceived by) the last character on Earth you’d imagine giving it, is inspired. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
Jacobson knows these worldly, embattled Strulovitch types with their lurching atavisms and exasperations, inside out. This novel is a highly rhetorical artefact whose rigour and vigour resides in the dialogue, the voices, and the subtlety of argument. His famous ability to get inside all of his characters makes his plays infinitely rich but, in this case, infinitely discomfiting.
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