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Golems and Ghosts

Golems and Ghosts

Chapter:
(p.124) Chapter Eleven Golems and Ghosts
Source:
Shylock Is Shakespeare
Author(s):
Kenneth Gross
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226309927.003.0011

This chapter examines two more fully developed fictions of Shylock's afterlife to help clarify what is at stake when we reimagine such a creature. One of the most elaborate attempts to lend Shylock a life that continues beyond the confines of the play is the 1931 novel The Last Days of Shylock, written by Ludwig Lewisohn—a prolific but now mostly forgotten American novelist, scholar, and man of letters. Heinrich Heine also finds a later history and voice for Shylock that is the more sharply true for keeping him closer to home. The exiled poet gives us a Shylock who has never left Venice, surviving there to the writer's own time in a ghostly fashion.

Keywords:   Shylock, afterlife, Ludwig Lewisohn, Heinrich Heine

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