Bernard Malamud Revisited: Portrait of the Post-Holocaust Jewish Hero in the Fixer

Sajjad Mahboobi


The primary focus of this article is concept of Jewish heroism in Bernard Malamud’s most celebrated novel, The Fixer (1966). In light of a truth-oriented historicist approach, my underlying argument is that Malamud’s protagonists are Jewish heroes who befit the post-Holocaust era. They are not schlemiels, unlike what many critics believe, and have three main missions: first, to remind the world of the suffering the Jews have endured throughout history, especially during the alleged Holocaust; second, to revive the qualities of Jewishness and Jewish tradition that no longer existed among the younger Jewish generation of the postwar America; and third, to help the Jews free themselves from their victim mentality, intensified after the Holocaust, through heroic acts of resistance and acceptance of responsibility toward their people. These protagonists neither share America’s postwar upheavals, nor resemble the least to the affluent Wall Street Jew financers. They are typical post-Holocaust Jewish heroes.


Post-Holocaust American Fiction, Bernard Malamud, Jewish Heroism, Jewish Suffering, Jew-the-victim Mentality, Schlemiel

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