Bruno Schulz's Literary Adoptees

Jewishness and Literary Father-Child Relationships in Cynthia Ozick's and David Grossmann's Fiction

in European Judaism

In a speculatively intertextual way, Bruno Schulz's disappeared manuscript The Messiah re-appears in Cynthia Ozick's The Messiah of Stockholm (1987) and See Under: Love by David Grossmann (1989). Deeply concerned with the late effects of the Holocaust on survivors and their (grand) children, the two books either feature Schulz as the alleged father of Ozick's protagonist or refer to him and his oeuvre as crucial for Grossmann's hero Momik's project of writing the life and Holocaust survival story of 'Grandfather Anshel'. Models from literary theory which allow for a framing of Schulz's imaginary paternity and his adaptation by and through fictional adoptees range from trauma theory in Grossmann's case to discussions of 'original' works as opposed to plagiarism and forgery in that of Ozick's.

European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe