A Book That Was Lost: And Other Stories
Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966, S. Y. Agnon is considered the towering genius of modern Hebrew literature for his hard-edged modernism ... Show synopsis Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966, S. Y. Agnon is considered the towering genius of modern Hebrew literature for his hard-edged modernism and soft-hued imagery. With this new collection of stories, the English-speaking audience has, at long last, access to the rich and brilliantly multifaceted fictional world of one of the great writers of this century. These stories span the lifetime of a quintessential wandering Jew - born in Buczacz, Poland, living in Germany, and finally settling in Jerusalem - and they bring to life the full gamut of the modern Jewish experience in fiction. This broad selection of Agnon's fiction introduces the full sweep of the writer's panoramic vision as chronicler of the lost world of Eastern European Jewry and the emerging society of modern Israel. Here are stories that portray the richly textured culture of traditional Jewish life in Poland, as well as changes in the life of the community over time. Several stories reflect on the Jewish infatuation with German and Western culture in the interwar period: "On the Road, " for example, narrates an eerie encounter on the eve of a holy day between an itinerant Jew and a ghostly company of martyred Jews from the Crusades. The early years of Jewish settlement in the land of Israel are recalled in "Hill of Sand, " which is also a revealing portrait of the artist as a young man; "A Book That Was Lost" is a powerful metaphor for the writer's own journey from Buczacz to Jerusalem.