☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ The Fixer By Bernard Malamud ❤ – Saudionline.co.uk

The Fixer summary The Fixer, series The Fixer, book The Fixer, pdf The Fixer, The Fixer 77e7653442 A Classic That Won Malamud Both The Pulitzer Prize And The National Book Award The Fixer Is Bernard Malamud S Best Known And Most Acclaimed Novel One That Makes Manifest His Roots In Russian Fiction, Especially That Of Isaac BabelSet In Kiev In During A Period Of Heightened Anti Semitism, The Novel Tells The Story Of Yakov Bok, A Jewish Handyman Blamed For The Brutal Murder Of A Young Russian Boy Bok Leaves His Village To Try His Luck In Kiev, And After Denying His Jewish Identity, Finds Himself Working For A Member Of The Anti Semitic Black Hundreds Society When The Boy Is Found Nearly Drained Of Blood In A Cave, The Black Hundreds Accuse The Jews Of Ritual Murder Arrested And Imprisoned, Bok Refuses To Confess To A Crime That He Did Not Commit

10 thoughts on “The Fixer

  1. says:

    After reading Norman Cohn s The Pursuit of the Millennium, which is in large part about the horrid pogroms unleashed on Europe s Jews in the Middle Ages, I thought The Fixer would be a compatible co read The novel is set in Russia between the end of the Russo Japanese War 1905 and the start of the Bolshevik Revolution 1917 The Fixer tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jew dwelling in a Russian shtetl 30 versts from Kiev who tries to work as a general handyman, a fixer But there s not much to fix in the shtetl, and not much money to go around in payment Bok is usually paid in soup But Bok is ambitious and after being left by his wife, whom he believes barren, he heads for nearby Kiev where there dwells a large population of Jews living in the ghetto He believes that in the shtetl life was passing him by On his way to Kiev, he fantasizes about wealth and property and a new wife who bears him beautiful children He is able to pass for a Russian One day he finds a fat man, Nikolai Maximovitch, face down in the snow Turning him over he detects first the liquour on his breath and then the emblem of the Black Hundreds, a virulently anti Semitic group, on his coat The man s daughter appears and together they carry the inebriate home As a reward, Bok is put to work papering the flat Nikolai Maximovutch owns above his own, for 40 rubles an enormous sum Later, Bok is promoted to run the Russian s brick factory When a dead boy is found, and his death absurdly attributed to nonexistent Jewish practices, Bok is picked up by the police It s clear from the start that their only goal is to frame him for this murder The intensity of false witness borne against Bok simply astonishes The monstrous hate with which his accusers are consumed stuns the mind The so called testimonies from so called witnesses reveal a legal system rotten to the core Everyone, it seems, is a pathological liar The fixer is then moved to prison and it is here that Malamud appears to do the impossible to take us through a day to day existence that is bleakness itself and yet which holds the reader through sheer narrative impetus Arthur Koestler s Darkness at Noon was probably a model for Malamud, and without question Dostoyevsky s Crime and Punishment Solzhenitsyn s Gulag Archipelago did not appear until 1972 and The Fixer was published in 1966 Both are set in Russia and contain long detailed sections about coercing false confessions I know a lot of readers abhor this book, or any book not about sunny, feel good topics Those readers are apparently in the game for its power to divert them from their current miseries The Fixer isn t interested in doing that It is in fact about misery, about suffering It s almost as if Malamud said Let me take the grimmest subject matter imaginable and not only make it supremely readable, but make it into art However, he has done far than that He has also dramatized a common plight under the ignorant Tsar Nicholas II whose entire family would shortly be executed by the Bolsheviks and thereby instructs us all in matters of virtue.

  2. says:

    kissing this book goodbye from my real book shelves probably my fault that I didn t quite see the artistic depths of the novel.The is a Pulitzer prize winning novel I found it a very depressing read It tells a story that, in its historical setting, is believable The main character is a victim of circumstances, for which we feel sympathy, and even horror when we reflect on the fate that befalls men But he is not actually very likable All of these things are good, or at worst, not bad I just skimmed through the last 60 pages of the book, perhaps I will change my mind about it at some point But for now, the one thing that I dislike about the book is its resolution Perhaps very artistic, but it seemed to me that Malamud finally couldn t decide how he wanted to end the book, and just stopped writing So, I wanted to keep reading this depressing and horrifying tale Strange If not for this I would give the book 5 stars Previous review Look Homeward AngelNext review The Portable FaulknerMore recent review The European Mind, 1690 1715Previous library review Wicked the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the WestNext library review A Canticle for Leibowitz classic post holocaust SF

  3. says:

    It was one of my required readings in college Like every Malamud novel, The Fixer is a very disturbing read, almost traumatic The writing is brilliant, but I have no intention to read it again Ever.

  4. says:

    Displacement activity is when you do stuff to avoid doing other stuff, so like instead of reviewing The Fixer I have been playing scrabble with daughter we agree that ex is an allowable word and switching the tv aimlessly on to find a drama in which they are just about to cut off John Paul Getty s ear to prove to the father they have got the kid I did not care to see that and then I lectured the two cats on the importance of not chasing each other around the house at ridiculous times of the night, but they were sullen and would not look me in the eye, and then I read all the other reviews of The Fixer and found to my complete lack of surprise they re 99% 4 or 5 stars Hmmm The damn thing won the Pulizer and the National Book Award in 1967 at the very moment the fab four were singing that there s nowhere you can be that isn t where you re meant to be great God almighty, is that really what John Lennon really sings Yes it is So, try telling that blissed out truth to Yakov Bok the poor goon who gets accused of the Jewish ritual murder of a 12 year old boy and spends 3 years in increasingly miserable prison cells awaiting trial It s okay, Yakov according to John Lennon that s where you re meant to be, so just go with the antisemitic flow.Everybody thinks this book is very profound, all about the human condition and the philosophy of Spinoza and the racist state and so forth, but I thought it was like being the clapper in a bell that would never stop ringing Bongggggg bonggggggg bonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggg people are very cruel bong bongggggg the Russians really hated the Jews back then bonggggggg you can t escape your fate bonnnnnnnngggggg nobody will save you in the end bongbongbong Let s do a random core sample of this book As the day wore on he groaned often, tore his hair with both fists, and knocked his head repeatedly against the wall P91Manacled, his legs chained, nervously exhausted, his body in flight though he tried with ten fingers to hold on to his mind, he stood with five armed guards at his back P138The leg chains were too short for Yakov to climb the steep steps, so he was seized under the arms by two of the gendarmes and dragged and pushed up P172All day th fixer walked in his cell, sometimes he ran, five steps, three, five, three, breaking the circuit to hurl himself against the wall, or smash his fists against the metal door P232At five in the morning the day began and never ended In the early evening dark he was already lying on his mattress, trying to sleep Sometimes he tried all night P274They re trying to unhinge me, thought the fixer, and then they ll say I went mad because I committed the crime P319He was chained to the wall again Things went badly P375So you see what I m saying what we have here is nothing but the unjust cruel sadistic sufferings of wretched Jakov the nobody for 350 pages, with a few pages of uncontrolled rantings from the prison warden about how the Jews make matzos for Passover from the blood of Christian children thrown in to give the reader a break Now and again a defence attorney appears to dangle some distant fruitless hope in front of the half dead Jakov and he grasps at this faint possibility with a painful naivete The defence attorney usually commits suicide or is mysteriously drowned within a few pages Yes, most of this sorry tale is based on the real case of Mendel Beilis, a falsely accused Jew who remarkably was acquitted by the Christians on the jury when he finally got tried But he wasn t a free thinking non religious guy like Jakov That part is made up The wrongly accused man boy, we have a lot of those in our fiction There s a listopia devoted to themhttps www.goodreads.com shelf show which omits some of the famous off the top of my head, how about Atonement, The Trial, The Count of Monte Cristo, Caleb Williams, Les Miserables well he pinched a loaf , To Kill a Mockingbird, Alias Grace, The Green Mile, Darkness at Noon and Hitchcock liked them too, see The Wrong Man and Frenzy In these tales we always get the story from the poor innocent s point of view We never get to be with the perpetrators So we readers always get to feel totally righteous Jonathan Safran Foer in his introduction says this is pre eminently a novel to galvanise the reader into political action When I finished reading this novel, I felt castigated and inspired Grumbling about the state of the world suddenly wasn t enough And excusing myself from political activity felt wrongHe is much robust than me When I finished this novel I was thinking wow, if you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time there is really not one thing you can do about it I was actually de galvanised I was enervated The only glint of light in the whole novel was a reflection off the polished boot that was stamping down on Jakov s head It was all much too much For a much better novel about the grinding misery of prison One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by SolzhenitsynFor a novel which makes the antisemitism of The Fixer seem like a stroll in the park on a pleasant Sunday morning, should you really want such a thing, see The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski.

  5. says:

    I am going to start with some quotes Taste them, enjoy them and then roll them around in your head If I have any philosophy , said Yakov Bok, it is that life could be better than it is. One thing I ve learned , he thought, there s no such thing as an unpolitical man, especially a Jew You can t be one without the other, that s clear enough You can t sit still and see yourself destroyed. Yakov reflects as he goes to his trial, What is it Spinoza says If the state acts in ways that are abhorrent to human nature it s the lesser evil to destroy it Death to the anti Semites Long live revolution In discussing Spinoza the investigating magistrate asks Yakov how one can achieve freedom if all life is bound by Necessity determinism Yakov replies, That s in your thought, your honor, if your thought is in God That s if you believe in this kind of God that s if you reason it out It s as if a man flies over his own head on the wings of reason, or some such thing You join the universe and forget your worries This book is an intense, gripping depiction of discrimination of the Jews in Czarist Russia at the beginning of the 20th century It is based on the incarceration of Menahem Mendel Beilis, which eventually lead to trial in 1913 We are given a fictionization of the arrest and two and half years in prison awaiting trial In the fictional account, the imprisoned Jew is Yakov Bok, apolitical, a freethinker and unreligious He is your Everyman He has left his wife, his father in law and the shtetl, all that had ever been home Six years married, still no child and his wife has left him for a lover In Kiev, he hopes to make something of himself, but it is in Kiev that he is accused of killing and draining blood from a Christian child It is Passover and the blood is supposedly a necessary ingredient for the holiday matzos He is accused of ritual murder That he has rejected Judaism and that he declares himself to be a freethinker is discounted The truth is if it were not him another Jew would have been accused He was there, at the wrong place and at the wrong time, and he is Jewish by birth It is his treatment during incarceration that is so intense and so gripping It is brutal and in no way an easy read Yakov s mental and psychological transformation is the second element of the story Here ugly horror is balanced by hope Maybe Spinoza is brought into the context of the story over and over again Yakov is no philosopher He is just your ordinary man trying, if only marginally, to improve himself He had come across the Spinoza book at a flea market, and picked it up for a kopek A wasted kopek most probably, but then he started reading and it made a place in his thoughts most definitely He is struggling to make sense of life In prison forces are physically and mentally annihilating him Conversely, he is struggling to cope and to find a reason for living See what I have underlined in the last quote above.I might say that the story goes on a bit too long Hallucinations at the book s end detract from the story s believability and impact They are too clever, too after the fact.The book is about racism and prejudicial discrimination It is not really philosophical, but you watch how philosophy changes Yakov The telling is matter of fact, down to earth, but intense The narration of the audiobook, by Victor Bevine, is very well done I had no problem following any of the lines Punlished in 1966, The Fixer won both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award for fiction Menahem Mendel Beilis descendants claim that Malamud had plagiarized the English edition of their memoir See Blood Libel The Life and Memory of Mendel Beilis Includes Beilis s Memoir, the Story of My Sufferings And Pulitzer Plagiarism What Bernard Malamud s the Fixer Owes to the Memoir of Mendel Beilis It can be difficult to separate source material and creative innovation Views differ.

  6. says:

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  7. says:

    Un caso Dreyfus in salsa russa.Pubblicato nel 1966, L uomo di Kiev ripercorre un tragico caso realmente accaduto in Russia nel 1911.E l epoca pre rivoluzionaria un fermento di movimenti incitano a rovesciare il potere imperiale e Nicola II difende l autorit zarista con provvedimenti sempre pi reazionari view spoiler Il protagonista de L uomo di Kiev Yakov Bok la cui storia si dipana su tre scenari dapprima il villaggio di provincia dove Yakov vive con la moglie svolgendo l attivit di tuttofare.Orfano alla nascita ed abbandonato dalla moglie decide, poi, di dare una svolta alla sua vita e parte per l antisemita Kiev YaKov, per , sembra perseguitato dalla sfortuna e si trova bloccato in una morsa che lo vedr accusato dell efferato delitto di un dodicenne.Il terzo scenario dove si svolge in realt gran parte del racconto sar dunque la prigione hide spoiler

  8. says:

    A huge disappointment as I d briefly christened Malamud My Favorite Author after having recently read The Assistant and several short stories The Angel Levine This is the book that won Malamud the Nobel, and I had to wonder why It s ideological, heavy handed, a hammer on your skull, bald faced allegory, and miserable to read, pages and pages of suffering I know there s a grand point here, and it has something to do with the philosophy of Spinoza which I haven t read , God s betrayal of the Jews after WWII, the reordering of one s worldview after Evil has shown its face and won, the attempt to locate spirituality and morality in a world without God, the slow glimmer of revelation that Jewishness is not in the end really Chosenness in any sense that can improve your life I love these themes, but they come across better, for me, in a treatment of an old Jew in New York finding God in Harlem, a Jewish family trusting an untrustworthy Italian goy, an encounter between spiritually and morally flawed characters from colliding cultures who will each find redemption in ways that will surprise you Malamud s other works, like Flannery O Connor s, embody both apostasy and a deeply religious and redemptive view of the world they are about a spirituality that needs no God I love that I know these themes are in this tome as well but I still don t get it Can anyone explain to me why The Fixer is considered Malamud s greatest work

  9. says:

    Nessun ebreo era innocente in uno stato corrotto ,che mostrava i segni della sua corruzione nella paura e nell odio La scrittura di Malamud la prima cosa che colpisce essenziale , quasi disadorna , eppure capace di rendere il lettore profondamente partecipe alla storia.La storia quella di Yakov Bok , la cui unica colpa di essere ebreo, dal momento in cui decide di lasciare il suo shtetl ,povero e abbandonato dalla moglie, per andare a Kiev.Atroci disgrazie si susseguiranno in una concatenazione inesorabile fino all accusa di omicidio ,alla detenzione in isolamento , alle continue torture fisiche e psicologiche.Gran parte dell azione si svolge in una fetida cella angusta e chi legge si ritrova l , con Yakov dormiva con la paura e si svegliava con il terrore incarcerato , affamato, degradato, incatenato al muro come un animale , in un attesa interminabile sconvolto, all idea di essere cos atrocemente solo oppresso dal caldo, divorato dal freddo umido, consumato dall attesa di un documento che non arrivava mai Yakov urlava dal punto pi profondo del suo essere, un pozzo stretto, ma nessuno compariva, amico o straniero, nessuno gli rispondeva, n lo guardava n gli rivolgeva la parola Nulla cambiava se non la sua et Se l avessero processato, giudicato colpevole e condannato alla Siberia, per lo meno, ci sarebbe stato qualcosa da fareChi legge l , ad ascoltare i suoi deliri , i suoi tormentati ricordi , i suoi pensieri a volte cadeva in un pensare senza pensieri , in un candore stupefatto, che lo intontiva a soffrire con lui.Una storia di resistenza all ingiustizia , alle umiliazioni e ai soprusi ,di integrit morale e di onest I romanzi di Malamud appartengono a quel genere di libri assai rari che amano partire in sordina per diventare splendidi strada facendo, come se lui non lavorasse con le singole parole o le singole frasi, ma semmai con le pagine, con il loro implacabile ammonticchiarsi l una sull altra come quei seduttori che la prima volta che li vedi ti sembrano perfettamente insipidi e gi la terza volta senti che non potrai mai liberarti di loro.Malamud elude programmaticamente qualsiasi piacioneria, non concede niente allo spettatore.E questo un rischio immenso per uno scrittore.Devi avere fegato, carattere e una straordinaria fiducia nella storia che ti accingi a raccontare per non blandire il lettore sin dalla prima riga.4 stelle e mezzo

  10. says:

    Tu sei ci che vuoi essere L uomo di Kiev vinse il Pulitzer e il National Book Award, il secondo per Malamud dopo quello ottenuto per i racconti superlativi de Il Barile Magico Ed un romanzo eccezionale, rappresenta una vetta sublime e inimitabile nel mondo della letteratura contemporanea Nel romanzo, sofferenza e umiliazione sono raccontate come condizioni universali e ineluttabili, il dolore si percepisce come una porta per la maturazione, il riscatto e la consapevolezza La tragedia individuale viene vissuta come mito collettivo, rituale che tende a ripetersi, a farsi eterno la disgrazia e l ingiustizia costituiscono un ambiente originario e immanente per l eroe di Malamud, un teatro nel quale recitare una parte ineludibile e dove cercare una evoluzione che sia liberazione dal senso di colpa e di vergogna, che connota l essere ebreo e pi radicalmente l essere diverso, l essere singolo soggetto non conforme n adattabile all avidit e alla distruttivit del reale Il romanzo si ispira a un fatto di cronaca del 1911, l antisemitismo diffuso che condusse la Russia zarista a accusare e imprigionare l ebreo ucraino Mendel Beilis per l omicidio di un bambino a scopi religiosi e rituali il processo, non narrato, si concluse con l assoluzione L immaginazione di Malamud crea un esperienza di parola irripetibile all interno di una tradizione che va da Giobbe a Kafka alla tradizione yiddish sempre l uomo che soffre al centro della storia e l individuo in prigione diviene simbolo di uno stato metafisico, di una corporeit innocente, vincolata e offesa, mai riconosciuta Cos la vita di Yakov Bok consegna al lettore un allegoria esistenziale, il viaggio di un anima al cospetto di un entit che rispecchia un potere onnipotente e ultraterreno nella sua delirante inalterabilit , univocit di posizione e prepotente violenza Non c spazio per il dissimile, non c luogo per il vero perch necessario placare la ferocia della persecuzione e della discriminazione, il desiderio illimitato di mettere sotto processo e annientare l altro, che rappresenta il personaggio che contiene il disconosciuto, il negato e il rimosso Per questo l unica via percorribile il cambiamento effettivo, la redenzione tramite la rielaborazione concreta, l attesa di un evento fisico di salvezza, persino il sogno di una rivolta contro il tiranno, la conquista della libert attraverso un calvario dietro al quale si intuisce un esito positivo Per lo scrittore newyorchese resistere al dolore comporta trovare una sorta di silenziosa quiete, un sentimento equilibrato di inspiegabile sollievo, che somiglia alla felicit mai concessa alla moltitudine, eterna promessa e fonte di tormento Malamud racconta bene come siamo composti di paure irrazionali e memoria ostinata e quanto profonda possa rivelarsi la nostra solitudine la sua scrittura meravigliosa e implacabile esprime pienamente e con compassione l essenza umana, quell errare dentro di s , nella nostra sostanza paradossale e nella nostra estraneit indicibile e minacciosa Cos la volont da opzione arbitraria acquisisce il carattere di una continuit di destino e di scelta Perch non lottare per rimanere se stessi

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