Articles/Essays/Chapters in Books
- Gellen, K. "“One Should Have Two Homelands”: Discord and Hope in Soma Morgenstern’s Sparks in the Abyss." Religions 8.2
(February, 2017): 26-26.
(last updated on 2017/07/29)
© 2017 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Soma Morgenstern’s three-part novel Sparks in the Abyss, written between 1930 and 1943, exudes a spirit of serenity and optimism at the same time that its narrative is structured by repeated scenes of conflict and violence. This paper seeks to account for the place of discord in the trilogy. Morgenstern uses the interwar Galician homeland as a site to articulate the possibility of traditional Jewish life in modern Europe. By inhabiting two homes—East and West, Galicia and Vienna, secularism and piety—Jews will be able to negotiate the inevitable discord and occasional brutality that they face in the world. The lessons learned by a Western secular Jew in pluralist Galicia create hope for the negotiation of difference, if not for the complete overcoming of violence, on the eve of World War II.