Bernard Malamud’s ‘The Magic Barrel’

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Date(s) - 14/10/2015
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Presented by Prof Andrew Samuels

Bernard Malamud’s ‘The Magic Barrel’_2About the Story

In The Magic Barrel Leo Finkle is urged to find a wife before he becomes a rabbi. He seeks the help of a marriage counsellor who gives him several women’s photographs and the story develops from there.

About the writer: Bernard Malamud

Bernard Malamud (1914 – 1986) was born in Brooklyn, New York.    He was an author of novels as well as short stories. His first published collection of short stories, The Magic Barrel (1958), won the National Book Award for Fiction. Malamud’s novel about baseball, The Natural, was adapted into a film starring Robert Redford, and his novel The Fixer won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He famously observed that, ‘Life is a tragedy full of joy.’ Malamud taught English composition to university students and creative writing at Bennington College until his retirement.

About Andrew Samuels

Andrew Samuels works internationally as a political consultant with politicians, parties and activist groups. He was co-founder of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility in 1994. He was Chair of UK Council for Psychotherapy form 2009-2012. His books have been translated into 19 languages and include The Plural Psyche (1989), The Political Psyche (1993), Politics on the Couch (2001), and   Persons, Passions, Politics, Psychotherapy (2014).


Participants are asked to read and think about the story prior to the session. We will use the text of the story as a springboard for our conversation; participant questions, responses and ideas are welcomed to help navigate the challenges of the work. There is no expectation of previous study or work with the story, or in the academic tradition.

All stories in this series can be found in The Granta Book of the American Short Story (vol. 1) edited by Richard Ford; available for purchase at Waterstones.

This session will be chaired by Basil Lawrence

SAP Public Programme Jung & Literature Series Convenor: Louise Dymoke

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