“Is Richler Canadian Content?”: Jewishness, Race, and Diaspora


In 2004, two questions were asked in reference to Mordecai Richler, questions that position Jewish and Canadian in opposition. The questions—“Is Richler Canadian Content?” and “Whose history is being told? Jewish or Canadian?”—seem to belong to an image of the past found in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. And yet these questions not only were asked recently, but failed to draw attention to their ideological assumptions. One was posed as the topic of a plenary panel for “The Richler Challenge” conference, held at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, March 18-19, 2004. And the other was asked by Coral Ann Howells and Peter Noble in the introduction to Where are the Voices Coming From? Canadian Culture and the Legacies of History (2004). This paper takes up these questions and their underlying logic.

This article ““Is Richler Canadian Content?”: Jewishness, Race, and Diaspora” originally appeared in Mordecai Richler. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 207 (Winter 2010): 11-24.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.