Bernard Malamud, The Fixer

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Bernard Malamud’s 1966 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning novel,

The Fixer

, is a fictionalized reworking of the Mendel Beilis case and an allegory of the Holocaust. In Malamud’s novel, the title character is impoverished handyman Yakov Bok, who represents not only Europe’s history of persecuting its Jews, but also the six million slaughtered by the Nazis. Mendel Beilis was a Russian Jew who in 1911 was falsely accused of the stabbing murder of a twelve year old boy to use his blood to make matzos for Passover. This medieval blood libel charge did not hold, yet Beilis spent two and a half years of unspeakable suffering in Czar Nicholas II’s prison, before being set free. Malamud initially intended the novel to be a study of what happens to a man in prison, and recalled…

4012 words

Citation: Watts, Eileen. "The Fixer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 May 2011 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

844 The Fixer 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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