The Frankist Novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Ezra Mendelsohn

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts

Published in print April 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112030
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854608 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

The Frankist Novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer

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This chapter discusses the two Frankist novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer, which are largely unknown even to literary scholars, aiming to make some contribution to a more comprehensive study of the subject. Jewish works of fiction, in both Hebrew and Yiddish, have evinced considerable and continuous interest in the messianic hopes of the times of Shabbetai Zvi and Jacob Frank. Although the evaluation of these phenomena differ, as do the descriptions given and the literary genres used, the literary treatment of these hopes is worthy of close attention beyond the purely literary standpoint—for such works often reflect the subject's continuing relevance in relation to modern ideologies and processes of modernization within Jewish society.

Keywords: Frankist novels; Isaac Bashevis Singer; Jewish works of fiction; Hebrew; Yiddish; Shabbetai Zvi; Jacob Frank

Chapter.  5946 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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