Friday, June 3, 2016

Malamud: The Jewbird



The window was open so the skinny bird flew in flappity-flap ( ... )

       “Right on the table,” said Cohen, putting down his beer glass and swatting at the bird. “Son of a bitch.”
      ( ... )
       The bird cawed hoarsely and with a flap of its bedraggled wings rose heavily to the top of the open kitchen door, where it perched staring down.
       “Gevalt, a pogrom!”

       “It’s a talking bird,” said Edie in astonishment.
       “In Jewish,” said Maurie.
       “Wise guy,” muttered Cohen. He gnawed on his chop, then put down the bone. “So if you can talk, say what’s your business. What do you want here?”

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In Malamud's story, published in 1963 as a magazine article, the bird is treated as an intruder, and  the beginning lightly foreshadows the dark ending.

European readers please notice that this is an American perspective dating back to the time when  people from all over arrived as refugees after World War I and II.

In Europe Jewish people are much more legendary and never seen as intruders, as they have always been around in its cities and in its literature, plays, children's stories and even as old concepts in its languages.
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The complete text by B. Malamud is at
http://www.101bananas.com/library2/jewbird.html