Daniel WabyickPost #626 – 19970101
January 1, 1997
This is in response to a recent comment:
“Your wife’s Jewish meatballs are exactly like my mother’s Swedish meatballs.” Maybe not a good example, since Swedes are so similar to Jews.
As a Jew living in Sweden, I would have to refute the point that Jews and Swedes share much in common, except perhaps the meatballs themselves. In fact, my family used to serve Swedish meatballs during the high holidays, and they were quite close to the real thing. (a tradition is a tradition) In any case, if you know of any other similarities between the blond giants of the north and the Jews, I would be eager to hear them. Oh yeah, any news on a release date for the collection?
And a meatball is a meatball. I stick to my contention that, the obvious apart, people are pretty much people, whatever their background--and while there may be some syntactical resonances of yiddishkeit in work of mine, it is neither my intention, or fact, that I am depicting a Jewish universe. I take exception to being characterized as a ""Jewish writer,"" which some people, usually Jews, seem to want me to be. I am an American writer, whose background happens to be Jewish, and since some, but by no means all, of my experience includes that, there will naturally be some reflection of it in the work. The supposition that I am characterizing Jewish life or Jewish people, as put forth here by sons of Benton Harbor, strikes me as a case of projection. For one thing, I don't know that there are stereotypic Jewish characteristics. Jews in Turkey or Yemen may have a completely different style from Jews in Italy, or Michigan or Mexico, as might Christians in those places.
DANIEL PINKWATER, 5 NOVELS is scheduled for fall. I have seen proofs of the introduction by Jules Feiffer, and the comments from readers. Those selected will receive their free copies, the discount certificates for pizza, and the free vacation in Benton Harbor, as promised by Wes Adams. You, Daniel Wabyick, may be one of the lucky selectees. I feel I should not make any announcement at this time.