Chapter

Fiction in Jerusalem: Muriel Spark's Idiom of Judgement

Lyndsey Stonebridge

in The Judicial Imagination

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748642359
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652150 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642359.003.0003
Fiction in Jerusalem: Muriel Spark's Idiom of Judgement

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Muriel Spark was to place the trial at the ‘desperate heart’ of her most historically ambitious and aesthetically awkward novel, The Mandelbaum Gate. Adolf Eichmann's own testimony was the trial's ‘boring phase’; few could tolerate the grinding mendacity of his defence and many journalists had left. Spark was well aware of the didactic importance of the trial in secular terms. For Spark, the Book of Job is decisive in post-exilic history because, at ‘the point at which human reason cannot reconcile the fact of evil with the goodness of God, an anthropomorphic conception of God breaks down’. Spark's originality and political prescience in The Mandelbaum Gate rests with her recognition of how the business of worldly justice is both buttressed and compromised by the presence of the occult.

Keywords: Muriel Spark; Mandelbaum Gate; Adolf Eichmann; Book of Job; justice; Jerusalem; judgement

Chapter.  11665 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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