A Curable Romantic

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Algonquin Books, Sep 7, 2010 - FICTION - 608 pages
2 Reviews
As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed all by the tender age of twelve he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.
Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loe Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.
"A Curable Romantic" is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.
 

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User Review  - Doey - LibraryThing

Mr Skibell thinks his writing is funnier and more profound than it really is. Tedious is the first word that comes to my mind, with contrived being a very close second. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - read.to.live - LibraryThing

(Warning, this review has spoilers.) This book started off slow and dry and almost unreadable, but got better, and better, so that by the end I found it so stunning in its entirety that I hardly ... Read full review

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Contents

BOOK TWO MILOJN DA JESOJ or My New Life in the Esperanto Movement
265
BOOK THREE ON THE DEVILS ISLAND or My Life and Death in the Warsaw Ghetto
497
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
595
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About the author (2010)

Joseph Skibell is the author of two previous novels, A Blessing on the Moon and The English Disease. He has received a Halls Fiction Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, among other awards. He teaches at Emory University and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.

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