From Exile to Redemption: The Fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer


According to Farrell Lee, a Singer story often takes the form of a meditation, with the dilemma of life and death the frequent core of that meditation. The protagonist seeks a source of meaning that might give significance to life; the human predicament is to be exiled from that source of meaning. More than other contemporary writers, Singer uses biblical images to confront questions of meaning, with the Kabbalah serving as subtext for much of his work. Singer secularizes religious material, equating the biblical image of a God who hides his face and the modern image of a cosmos empty of transcendent meaning. Singer is distinguished from other contemporary writers because in the midst of his images of secular and biblical despair shines a ray of hope. He sees value in seeking answers, noting that to find answers to the essential questions one must be redeemed from exile.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Carbondale, IL
Publication year:
  • 1987


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