- Series: Harvest Book
- Paperback: 210 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (March 28, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156402750
- ISBN-13: 978-0156402750
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hill of Evil Counsel 1st Edition
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"Oz evokes Israeli life with the same sly precision with which Chekhov evoked pre-Revolutionary Russian life" * Los Angeles Times * "A marvellous ability to transport the reader into a new set of ideas, feelings and fears... The whole book is masterly" * Financial Times * "A peerless imaginative chronicler of his country's inner and outer transformations" * Independent * "An exquisite thinker, Oz is a rare blast of sanity and intelligence" * Observer * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English, Hebrew (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As to the historical figures who appear, sometimes in cameo, there was a real Sir Alan Cunningham, for example. While not as well known as Golda Meir and Ben Gurion, Cunningham was the last British high commissioner of Palestine during the Mandate period, which ended in November 1947. The book opens at this precise time, the end of one era, the beginning of another, far less promising at the time. Sir Alan is present at a gala put on by the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, guarded by soldiers armed with machine guns to protect against the still-active Underground, presumably the Irgun, which had carried out a savage fight against the British for some years. In this chapter the guests at the gala are both real and fictional, the fictional guests being types for people whom Oz as a child observed at close hand. The book in its first (of three chapters) section is almost a time capsule. Oz uses history and fiction together, blending them so skillfully that the reader at times assumes that all these people must be real, or they must all be fictive; and in any case, it doesn't matter. The story is so taut and so compelling, the characters so vivid, that fiction and reality become one and the same. If some of the characters aren't real, they certainly would have had real counterparts in Jerusalem at that time, like the real Hill of Evil Counsel in Jerusalem, said to be the place where Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus by selling his whereabouts for 30 silver coins, the site which is today the site of UN headquarters-- it used to be the site of Government House (British) under the Mandate. The mythic and the real are inseparable in this latest masterpiece by Amos Oz.
"At a nearby table sat the philosopher Martin Buber and the writer S.Y. Agnon [real people, obviously]. In the course of a disagreement, Agnon jokingly suggested that they consult the younger generation. Father [fiction] made some remark; it must have been perceptive and acute, because Buber and Agnon both smiled; they also addressed his companion gallantly. At the moment Father's blue eyes may perhaps have lit up behind his round spectacles, and his sadness may have shown around his mouth." The character of Father is fiction, but can there be any doubt that Oz is also writing about his own father? The future Jerusalem is a dream, in the book, the present city of the 1940s is a disaster, filled with lost souls, wraiths, refugees groping their way through history, as real as the flesh and blood people who appear.