The Bankrupts, by Brian Glanville:
Ace Books. 2s. 6d.
The Crossing Point, by Gerda Charles:
Eyre and Spottiswoode. 18s.
Set on Edge, by Bernice Rubens:
Eyre and Spottiswoode. 16s.
the basic question about the Anglo-Jewish novel is whether it can possibly exist. A Ghetto novel is possible as long as actual or mental ghettos continue. But the collapse of the ghetto is synonymous with the dispersal of the small cohesive community into the conditions of national life. Here, destinies become largely individual; or, put perjoratively, lives become atomised. Above all, the range of choices lies terrifyingly open. For example: assimilation, which may or may not mean loss of identity with some arbitrally conceived Jewishness: or loyalty to a social group, despite the collapse of the Ghetto’s communal and religious sanctions: or a rediscovered orthodoxy: or Zionism. Other destinies become possible. The wish to preserve, even perhaps to create, a Jewish identity or its substitute, may carry the individual into the Communist Party or Liberal Judaism. I am not suggesting that these choices of destiny are all of the same kind or quality. Assimilation alone may be passive or willed, may involve apathy or Zionism or conversion to Christianity. The types of choices are as varied as the number of choices open. And of course choices may be committments of abdications.