In the Gigul of Park Avenue, a waspy lawyer has a revelation in a NYC yellow cab that he is in fact Jewish. At the annoyance of his wife he signs up for Torah lessons, performs certain rituals, and throws away the cheese in the house. The lawyer comments, “No, no. That’s exactly the point. Jew, non- Jew, doesn’t matter. The body doesn’t matter. It is the soul itself that is Jewish” (https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99mar/gilgul.htm). Similarly to the album Possessed by the Klezmatics, this story deals with contemporary issues of returning to tradition in the midst of modern consumerist society all within a Jewish context. Moreover, it discusses internality of Judaism rather than simply representing it as an external manifestation. In this manner, I see The Gigul of Park Avenue as resisting capture and providing lines of flight. What do you think?
How does the genre of fiction work to show the effects of history on the mind? How may a work bring to the surface the effects of history and demonstrate how they influence the present?