Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2015) : 91-110|
Borders of Intimacy in Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto
Rubric A: Divided Loyalties
Rubric B: Jewish Issues
The article focuses on Zangwill’s unusual depictions of ghetto life in late-Victorian London. Zangwill portrays the ghetto as a space with a proclivity for holding its inhabitants not through economic, legal, or cultural pressures — all features of earlier Victorian writing about the ghetto — but through its affective power. It begins by situating Zangwill’s depictions of ghetto life amidst a longer trajectory of Victorian ghetto discourse. The essay moves on to explore the significance of Zangwill’s innovation in depicting ghetto life as a place that emerges from borders born of the interplay of intimate encounters, emotional knowledge, and embodied experience.