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3 THE JEWISH SCENE Jewish writers were no less affected by these developments, but, as will be seen in the course of this study, they responded in a particular manner that partly grew out of the Jewish experience of the Second World War, and partly out of a love-hate relationship with the Jewish community. The Holocaust disfigured Jewish historical geography until it was unrecognizable. British Jewry was left the largest single Jewish community in Europe, outside the USSR, and, before the influx of North African Jews into France in the 1960s the fourth largest in the world.

Shmule, Kandinsky's assistant, has a dream too, to be a champion wrestler and buy his fiancee Sonia a proper diamond ring with the prize money. But the prize money could also buy Kandinsky his dreamt-of patent steam presser. That means jobbing and steady work. So Kandinsky persuades Sonia that a ring doesn't really count for as much respect and security as Shmule in the role of guv'nor, coming into the business as a partner, on the condition he brings with him one secondhand patent steam presser.

But what sort of culture could the Contemporary Anglo-Jewish Literature 21 Diaspora offer? And who was to create it? The literary critic David Daiches gave his own answer when he rejected out of hand the Hebrew scholar Chaim Rabin's plea for a Hebrew-language culture as "utopian" and dismissed the Yiddishist Dr. Roback's hope for a resurrected Yiddish culture as "unrealistic"; Hebrew, argued Daiches, was an ecclesiastical tongue that enabled the Jew to read the Bible or a book from Israel, while Yiddish had not outlived the shtetl.

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