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Daemon
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 12:00:00 AM
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Fagin

Fagin is a fictional character in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist who has sparked much debate over the years. Allegedly based on an actual criminal, the character teaches boys to steal and is described as villainous, selfish, miserly—and Jewish. He is called "the Jew" more often than "Fagin," despite the fact that Dickens removed over 180 instances of it after befriending a Jewish couple. Which of Dickens's later Jewish characters may be an apology for his anti-Semitic portrayal of Fagin? More...
Ashwin Vemuri
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:00:27 AM

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Thanks
lazarius
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:37:59 AM

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Daemon wrote:
Fagin

Can somebody change? It's possible.
Maybe it's strange, but it's possible.
All my dearest companions and treasures, I've left them behind.
I'll turn a leaf over and who can tell what I may find?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3BGWJ8s82Y&t

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thar
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:05:00 AM

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Fagin gets some of the best comic songwriting in musical theatre, playing with rhyme and rhythm and 'stream of consciousness' thoughts. The patron saint of pessimists. Who ends up feeling positive in the end. .
And making a bad character in the original lovable and sympathetic. Whistle

https://youtu.be/96rC4X_KWl4

ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:42:09 AM

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Prejudices of the time. It is the influence of Christian attitude towards Jews, I believe.
Fagin
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 6:03:42 AM

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thar wrote:
And making a bad character in the original lovable and sympathetic. Whistle

The Dodger tells me you have come to London to seek your fortune, Oliver.

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Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 6:18:09 AM

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Fagin, fictional character, one of the villains in Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist (1837–39) and one of the most notorious anti-Semitic portraits in English literature.

Fagin is an old man in London who teaches young homeless boys how to be pickpockets and then fences their stolen goods. Although a miser and exploiter, he shows a certain loyalty and solicitude toward the boys. The Artful Dodger is one of Fagin’s thieves and, for a time, so is the young Oliver Twist. At the novel’s end, Fagin is executed for complicity in a murder.

Vitagraph filmed the first (silent) adaptation of the book in 1909, and the novel remains a perennial favourite in theatres and on television. In the 1948 film adaptation of the novel, Fagin was portrayed by Alec Guinness. Ron Moody played Fagin in the stage and film musical Oliver! (1968), and George C. Scott portrayed the character in a televised version of the novel released in 1982. In 2005 Ben Kingsley played Fagin in director Roman Polanski’s adaptation of the novel.


https://www.britannica.com/topic/Fagin
taurine
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:11:12 AM

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Riah in "Our Mutual Friend".
taurine
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:17:05 AM

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ChristopherJohnson wrote:
Prejudices of the time. It is the influence of Christian attitude towards Jews, I believe.


Your belief is not good, ChristopherJohnson.

It is the legacy of Roman Emperors rule over the Middle East and suppressing the Jewish rebellions, especially Bar Kochba. It led eventually to the several councils under the auspices of a certain Roman Emperor in fourth or fifth century AD and, final establishment of the official Christian Bible.
thar
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:43:21 AM

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It's strange that Dickens who wrote to highlight injustices in society and to rouse people to improve things, had just a blind spot when it came to anti-Semitic sentiment.
Of course among the gangleaders exploiting children were (and are) some Jewish ones, so writing this particular character this way doesn't make him anti-Semitic, but there are other stories as well where he goes into multi-page digressions about how subhuman the Jews are that are really indefensible for anyone, and just so strange for a social campaigner.

Of course Fagin gets the last laugh because not many people have actually read Oliver Twist, while loads have seen the musical Oliver!
Written by Lionel Bart (parents Ukrainian Jewish refugees). Played by Ron Moody (parents Russian and Lithuanian Jewish refugees) as a comic character you have to root for.
Ask most people about Dickens' Oliver and I think (at least in Britain, I guess not so much abroad) they will think of workhouses, asking for more, food and Fagin's songs.


Exploitative, and evil, gang leaders of child thieving gangs are sometimes called Fagins but it really lacks punch if you have that image, and doesn't express the heartlessness.
lazarius
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:19:51 AM

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thar wrote:
writing this particular character this way doesn't make him anti-Semitic, but there are other stories as well where he goes into multi-page digressions about how subhuman the Jews are that are really indefensible for anyone, and just so strange for a social campaigner.

I believe you have been misled. If this were true, it would be writ large in this page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickens

thar wrote:
Of course Fagin gets the last laugh because not many people have actually read Oliver Twist, while loads have seen the musical Oliver!

I've already told you that I have read it. There's nothing anti-Jewish in it.

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thar
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:57:06 AM

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Not in that, no, - but some other books do have long passages about Jewish people that peole find hard to read now. Not so strange for any book of the time, since anti-Semitism was so engrained in the culture, but strange for him, who wanted people to look more compassionately and see the reason for people's hardships, including criminals (such as Oliver Twist).Fagin was a victim of the system as were Nancy and even Bill. Oliver would have ended the same way if not for the contrived plot points! He could write compassionately and against injustices, but sometimes he didn't. That is what is so strange.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Saturday, May 23, 2020 12:50:19 PM

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Fagin is a fictional character in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist who has sparked much debate over the years. Allegedly based on an actual criminal, the character teaches boys to steal and is described as villainous, selfish, miserly—and Jewish. He is called "the Jew" more often than "Fagin," despite the fact that Dickens removed over 180 instances of it after befriending a Jewish couple.
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