The Natural, Bernard Malamud's first novel, depicts the rise and fall of a heroic Sharp, unsettling, provocative, and brilliantly written, The Natural is often identi-. History as Myth in Bernard Malamud's The Natural. Peter Carino. NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, Volume 14, Number 1, Fall. , pp. Bernard Malamud (),. The Natural (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, ). Reviewed for The Book Club by Rev. Frank LeBlanc.
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Download Best Book The Natural, ^^PDF FILE Download The a new editionIntroduction by Kevin BakerThe Natural, Bernard Malamud's first. The classical novel (and basis for the acclaimed film) now in a new editionIntroduction by Kevin BakerThe Natural, Bernard Malamud's first novel, published in. This sports novel follows the career of baseball player Roy Hobbs, a natural with a About the Author: Bernard Malamud was born in in New York City and.
Reflecting the critical consensus, Edward Abramson questions "whether baseball, despite its important position as an American ritual, can carry the weight of [mythical] allusion Malamud places on it. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE. In several interviews Malamud has admitted that he clearly intended to depict the twentieth-century baseball star as a mythic hero—in the case of Roy Hobbs, as one who fails in his quest, disappointing the hopes of his culture and community. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. As most critics of the novel have pointed out, Malamud's ballplayer protagonist is an ordinary man whose intellectual
This attention is not surprising, for The Natural is the first novel of a writer who subsequently achieved canonical status, and, following Lardner's work, it is the first of many serious baseball novels in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Critics are also attracted to The Natural because Malamud infuses his story of star-crossed phenom Roy Hobbs with allusions drawn from a variety of mythic sources—Arthurian legend, the Bible, Homer, fertility myth, the myth of the hero—as well as with central constructs from the work of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
At the same time, the novel draws on events from both documented and accepted baseball history, most notably from the Black Sox scandal but also from the careers of Babe Ruth, Eddie Waitkus, Wilbert Robinson, Bob Feller, Chuck Hostetler, and Pete Reiser. In several interviews Malamud has admitted that he clearly intended to depict the twentieth-century baseball star as a mythic hero—in the case of Roy Hobbs, as one who fails in his quest, disappointing the hopes of his culture and community.
In he told a usa Today interviewer, "I lived somewhere near Ebbetts Field.
The old Brooklyn Dodgers were our heroes, our stars, like out of myth. This fusion of myth and baseball has proven problematic for Malamud scholars over the years. First of all, the use of baseball itself as subject matter is an anomaly for a writer who subsequently wrote prolifically about the inner sufferings of Jewish grocers, salesmen, teachers, landlords, and tenants.
While some critics reconcile The Natural with Malamud's other work by comparing the suffering of Roy Hobbs with that of Malamud's numerous Jewish protagonists, many are troubled by his use of baseball as a vehicle to treat a twentieth-century man as a mythic hero. Reflecting the critical consensus, Edward Abramson questions "whether baseball, despite its important position as an American ritual, can carry the weight of [mythical] allusion Malamud places on it.
Only Earl Wasserman strongly argues that the game proves appropriate subject matter, arguing that Malamud "has rendered the lived events of the American game so as to compel it to reveal what it essentially is, the ritual whereby we express the psychological nature of American life and its moral predicament.
Wasserman, however, like other critics, is more interested in The Natural beyond baseball, following his brief review of baseball history in the text with a complex and detailed Jungian reading.
My intention here is to treat the baseball history in the novel in terms of the ways it contributes to rather than detracts from the mythic treatment of the subject matter.
As a boy and young man, Malamud saw ballplayers in mythic terms, and his appropriation and reworking of actual events serve not only to support the external mythic allusions but to illustrate how the real events of the game, both those recorded faithfully and those embellished by time and memory, ascend to the status of myth in the imagination of the fans. As most critics of the novel have pointed out, Malamud's ballplayer protagonist is an ordinary man whose intellectual SlideShare Explore Search You.
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