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The Judicial ImaginationWriting After Nuremberg$
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Lyndsey Stonebridge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642359

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642359.001.0001

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Fiction in Jerusalem: Muriel Spark's Idiom of Judgement

Fiction in Jerusalem: Muriel Spark's Idiom of Judgement

(p.73) Chapter 3 Fiction in Jerusalem: Muriel Spark's Idiom of Judgement
The Judicial Imagination

Lyndsey Stonebridge

Edinburgh University Press

Muriel Spark was to place the trial at the ‘desperate heart’ of her most historically ambitious and aesthetically awkward novel, The Mandelbaum Gate. Adolf Eichmann's own testimony was the trial's ‘boring phase’; few could tolerate the grinding mendacity of his defence and many journalists had left. Spark was well aware of the didactic importance of the trial in secular terms. For Spark, the Book of Job is decisive in post-exilic history because, at ‘the point at which human reason cannot reconcile the fact of evil with the goodness of God, an anthropomorphic conception of God breaks down’. Spark's originality and political prescience in The Mandelbaum Gate rests with her recognition of how the business of worldly justice is both buttressed and compromised by the presence of the occult.

Keywords:   Muriel Spark, Mandelbaum Gate, Adolf Eichmann, Book of Job, justice, Jerusalem, judgement

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