Must Literature be Moral? Must Jewish Literature?

May 8, 2017 | Ruth Wisse
About the author:

In a 1971 essay titled “Innovation and Redemption,” the writer and critic Cynthia Ozick attacked literary works that, however notable for their formal experimentation, lack any sort of moral core. Contrasting such literature to rabbinic midrash, Ozick argues that the latter always contains a moral message but, for its part, lacks literature’s imaginative power. Ruth Wisse discusses the essay and puts it in the context of Ozick’s own perception of herself as a Jewish writer. (Interview by Eric Cohen. Audio, 51 minutes.)

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