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For Every Sin (Appelfeld, Aharon) Paperback – April 29, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
With his book, "For Every Sin", he again uses the form of a novel to share experiences of a survivor making his way home after the War. Very little of the emotion that his character Theo feels is what you would expect, and the same holds true for many other players in the book. Many of the emotions and the plans that people make in the book are a direct result of their wartime experiences, and they rarely are what a reader would expect. And yet every action makes sense after Mr. Appelfeld tells the story.
Some Jews converted to Christianity before the war in the hope they would not then be found by the Nazis. The step was taken to preserve life. The Author deals with the following paradox, a man survives the camp, the war, the attempt to destroy the people he is a part of. If a person were to lose all faith it would not be hard to understand, but Theo is returning home so that he may convert to Christianity after he has survived. The reactions of those other survivors he meets cover the range of reactions from understanding, to violence regarding his decision.Read more ›
Once again the theme of survivor's problematic relation to their own Jewishness is central to an Appelfeld work. Once again the struggle to survive in hostile circumstances comes to play. In this work the protagonist is strongly attached to the memory of his mother, a beautiful woman who once thought to convert to Christianity. In the course of returning home however Theo encountering again and again groups of refugees understands that he himself has changed. The pure German his mother taught him is no longer his. Rather the Yiddish inflected language he learned in the camps remains with him. He through the wanderings arrives at last at a group or refugees one of whom tells him that they must give love and help to each other.
He understands he cannot go back home to the home which no longer exists, but rather as a survivor must go on with other survivors, however slowly, to wherever their Fate leads them.
This story is about Theo, a Jew with no connection to Judaism, whose parents were secularists, who has just been released from a concentration camp. Unlike his fellow former inmates who leave together, he refuses to join them. He wants to be alone and he wants to return to his home in Austria where he grew up, even though his parents who had been murdered are no longer there. He will walk home. He calculates that it will take him two months if he walks in a straight line.
But Theo discovers that he is not walking in a straight line. Sometimes he deviates to the right or left to avoid meeting fellow refugees. At other times he circles back to a place where he had been previously, as when he discovered a hut which was previously a command post by Nazi soldiers, a place stocked full of cigarettes, coffee, and sardines. He meets a woman there, Mina, who had been terribly treated in the camps and, contrary to his prior resolve, he wants to help her. When she disappears, he forgets his plan to go home for a while and looks for her for days. Should we understand his behavior that he is subconsciously rejecting his plan to go home?
Theo meets and speaks to many people during his wanderings and we learn about their lives and desires. At times he wants to stay with them, but they want to be alone. As he walks, he recalls his upbringing with his neurotic spendthrift mother and his docile father.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very satisfied with this purchase. The book was in great condition and I was glad to get it for a good value.Published on July 25, 2013 by carly
Aharon Appelfeld's For Every Sin follows the fruitless wandering of a camp survivor immediately following the war. Read morePublished on June 8, 2012 by Eric Maroney