Notes on Malamud stories

  1. Take Pity an odd story of a man who failed at life explaining it all to a census taker.
  2. The First Seven Years a love story from the view of a nosy father, who tries to set his daughter up with student Max. Mas doesn’t want Miriam, and Feld soon realizes his assistant Sobel at his shoe shop loves his daughter. She’s keen on him via the books Sobel has gifted her.
  3. The Mourners a great delayed outcome story in the mode of Bartleby, The Scrivener. This one plays out as a tenant-landlord saga. Funny that it recalls Malamud’s late novel¬†The Tenant.
  4. Idiots First the best of the lot so far, a poor man looks to send his mentally challenged son to California. He shuffles around Manhattan begging for money at the homes of wealthy Jews. Lots of tension and suspense, and some old-world dark magic.
  5. The Last Mohican is a tale of unwanted encounters. Fidelman newly arrived in Rome to write a book on Giotto, meets Susskind, a hustler and peddler who claims to be an exile from Israel. Contrast is Fidelman’s pursuit of scholarship and the aesthetic while Susskind’s persistent nagging is a reminder of old and real world misery. Prey turns into pursuer.¬†