George Eliot's Daniel Deronda is looming on the relatively immediate horizon in the graduate seminar. But this Metafilter post on Paolo Bacigalupi and its links to some harshcritiques of The Wind-Up Girl put me in mind of something that, in retrospect, is perhaps rather odd about Eliot's novel: it is arguably more central to Victorian Jewish self-consciousness than most novels by Jews--certainly far more than is, say, Amy Levy's rejoinder to it, Reuben Sachs. Jewish readers of the time weregenerallyexcitedbyDaniel Deronda, some of them because of its political implications. (Excerpts from the novel were published in 1899 as George Eliot as a Zionist, and you can find "George Eliot Street" in cities like Tel Aviv.) It strikes me that there aren't that many parallels to this success, and especially not at this level of enthusiasm.