THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, December I, 1961 —
Frederic Raphael Shows Literary Skill in New Novel, `Limits of Love'
At 29, Frederic Raphael, native
of Chicago, son of an American
mother and a British father, who
has lived in England with his
parents since 1938, is the author
of three novels. His newest, "The
Limits of Love," just published
by J. P. Lippincott Co. (E. Wash-
ington Sq., Philadelphia, 5, Pa.),
while not a Jewish novel, in the
sense of the best Jewish content,
has mostly Jews as its cast of
It is the story about a variety
of personalities belonging to two
families. One couple is Commu-
nist. One is an architect with
considerable idealism - for his
work. One chap manages to have
his novels published, and his mar-
riage turns out happy, after their
illicit love affair.
The father is a Jewish delica-
tessen storekeeper who is more
Greetings of the Season
concerned about business than
about -his family's ethics. His
daughter's father-in-law, while
really non-observant, tends to
respect traditions and to say his
prayers on Yom Kippur.
Many of them have their extra-
curricular love affairs, but in the
end all ends• well for all the
The theme is studded with ref-
erences to Jews—not in the posi-
tive way, but by referring to
Yids. It is always Yids
When Paul, who turns
ful author, who had
trouble' in school fro the anti-
Jewish taunts of
asks his mother,
we have to be J sh?" T
veryone as o
have a relie ." "Is being J
ish a religio ' "Of course •
Whereupon e novelist
"Alma d no use
ligion; it as truly for
gs one had to have,
like a re igerator, because it
made thi s so much simpler
one knew here one was.
did not pr nd that
was what s
chosen exactly, but it had been
passed on to her and one had
i Happy. Hanukah to Our Friends!
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Mr. and Mrs. William . B. Caplan
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Shevin
Happy Hanukah to All
Extend Their Very Best Wishes
To All Their Relatives and
Friends for a Joyous Hanukah
The Best on James Couzens
19410 James Couzens
possesses literary skill. His novel
contains scores of masterful dia-
for the panicky who think of logues. He possesses genuine abil-
themselves only as "Yids," in the ity as a writer, even if we do
disapprove of the Jewish angles
The two pages of gibberish in his theme. —P.S.
during which Paul unleashes a
long speech (pages 269-271) dur-
ing a sex orgy, exposing himself,
to find space for it."
It is in this light that all mat-
ters Jewish are treated in
Raphael's "The Limits of Love."
Therefore he puzzles the reviewer
with his statement explaining his
Jewish attitude. Discussing the
theme of his new
ize Novel, t
young writ said:
mits of Love' is of
but I .ould
py if pe e e
nk that it was on
special pleading. I
lieve, tha t
f n e taken
sit ion in ge
t be shown
t Jews being
else only more
have more co
n for Jews than
le and yet I do
ws accepted, just as
em to accept others.
am,_inevitably, conscious of
e terrible sufferings of the
Jews and emotively I am more
kindled–by their pain than by
that of other people, hence I
choose them, as also I know them,
to act as my dramatis personae,
but this is a book about all peo-
ple and has, I believe, lessons for
"I am concerned in particular
with the notion of community. I
pine for the old Jewish commu-
nity, while recognizing that it is
forever a thing of the past (and
probably just as well) and yet I
regret that all we have put in its
place — in the West today — is
The super-wordliness aspired
to by this young writer did not
necessarily call for selecting all
of the negative approaches to
Jewish life. He does not have to
have more concern about Jews
than about anyone else, but why
concern only for the over-sexed,
thus—"I am a Jew. I'm a Yid.
I'm a greasy, swarmy, oily, cen-
ral European, blackmarketing,
owardly, Semitic Yid" — hardly
pells much self-respect. And
hat's what we are treated to—
That's what we take exception
to, in an otherwise well-written
In his statement, Raphael also
"I do not believe that we in
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the West will ever face life's
problems squarely until we
cease to drug ourselves with
the idea that deep down all we
need is a happy sex life—and
yet I believe just that: here is
the crux, then, between private
and public happiness."
T. Rogvoy, A.I.A.
929 FOX BLDG.
Detroit - 1, Michigan
This makes more sense, -and it
explains his novel better than
the Jewish interpretation he of-
fered. It is doubtful whether he
really is qualified to offer a
Admittedly, Frederic Raphael
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