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Curriculum Vitae (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – July 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Part novel, part memoir, part neither, Curriculum Vitae is a frolicking dive into the self of the writer.” (Phillip Witte - Three Percent)

“A reason to celebrate...Hoffmann shows himself to be an artist of the profoundly fantastic.” (Hadassah Magazine)

“A writer of international importance...Hoffmann refracts Jewish popular lore and folk wisdom through a postmodernist prism, brightening his prose with snatches of verse, songs, diary excerpts, letters, ominous dreams, lush erotic passages and Yiddish sayings.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Hoffmann writes in a language of miracles.” (American Book Review)

“These bits and pieces of polished writing―like small, well-crafted gems―form a mosaic and give one a full portrait.” (Robert Leiter - Jewish Exponent)

“A wise and delicate book.” (Yediot Aharonot)

About the Author

Yoel Hoffmann was born in Brasow, Romania in 1937. He is presently a citizen of Israel, and is Professor of Eastern Philosophy at the U. of Haifa. He has had a lifelong scholarly engagement with Hebrew literature, Western philosophy, and Japanese Buddhism. His is the winner of the first Koret Jewish Book Award. His books include The Heart is Katmandu, Bernhardt, The Christ of Fish, and Katschen & The Book of Joseph.

Peter Cole’s previous books of poems include Things on Which I’ve Stumbled (New Directions). Among his volumes of translation are The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition and The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492. Cole, who divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Original edition (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811218325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811218320
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,139,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Curriculume Vitae is a very reflective novel. Part novel, part memoir, Hoffman's life account is delivered in 100 vignettes reminiscent of the Japanese zen koan form. The narrator makes observations on big moments and small (almost mundane) ones, which begs the question: Why do we remember the things we do?

The kaleidoscopic fragments of the book are accompanied by Hoffman's own line drawings, abstract doodles that are often literal and funny. The usual story devices are absent here - there's no real plot, nothing to be resolved, just a life lived. It's a quick read; I finished it in one afternoon with appreciation for Hoffman's spare prose that is almost poetic in language.
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