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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah The tale of two French sister at the beginning of World War II: One does all she must to keep her daughter and herself alive; the other joins the Resistance. Learn more | See related books
I am in the middle of this book but I wanted to pause and review it now. I am not a lover of short stories, but this book is an exception. Here, using snapshots, Agnon portrays times and places that are long gone. This is something that any Agnon fan knows. But is what is truly extraordinary is the manner in which Agnon portrays spirituality. Today in the USA we live a largely material rather than spiritual existence. It can also be argued that true spirituality is something that rarely has been found throughout human history. Yet, Agnon in his writings has captured the essence of man's connection to the divine. This edition contains commentary by various editors, which I found immensely helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of Agnon. to paraphrase, they explain the difference between Agnon and his contemporaries " he was a modern man whose Modernity could not be expunged, but the world of classical Jewish culture, in all its dimensions and manifestations, remained for him animated and animating in a way that it did not for other modern Jewish writers....For Agnon, the past exists for the sake of the present, and its stories and symbols exist for the sake of what they offer to the construction of a fuller Jewish self-understanding in the modern world." p.34 Yet this is the tip of the iceberg. Read this book and understand for yourself.
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The order was treated well and I received the book amazingly fast! Many thanks! Unfortunately the quality of the book production is rather low - the book is not pleasant to hold in hand - when reading the sharp cuts of the margins of the printed block are harsh.
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S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970) was the central figure of modern Hebrew literature, and the 1966 Nobel Prize laureate for his body of writing. Born in the Galician town of Buczacz (in today's western Ukraine), as Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes, he arrived in 1908 in Jaffa, Ottoman Palestine, where he adopted the penname Agnon and began a meteoric rise as a young writer. Between the years 1912 and 1924 he spent an extended sojourn in Germany, where he married and had two children, and came under the patronage of Shlomo Zalman Schocken and his publishing house, allowing Agnon to dedicate himself completely to his craft. After a house fire in 1924 destroyed his library and the manuscripts of unpublished writings, he returned to Jerusalem where he lived for the remainder of his life. His works deal with the conflict between traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world, and constitute a distillation of millennia of Jewish writing - from the Bible through the Rabbinic codes to Hasidic storytelling - recast into the mold of modern literature.