Aharon Appelfeld: From Individual Lament to Tribal Eternity

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University Press of New England [for] Brandeis University Press, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
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Aharon Appelfeld stands among the most prominent Israeli writers and is the most frequently published Israeli writer in the US. His works have received numerous prestigious literary awards in Israel as well as international critical acclaim. Yet there is a paucity of good critical writing about his impressive body of work. Yigal Schwartz's compelling study, based in part on interviews with Appelfeld himself, admirably fills this gap.

Schwartz organizes his book around three of Appelfeld's major themes: the recovery of childhood and memory, the creation of place, and the religious stance of the Holocaust writer. He discusses Appelfeld's imaginative reconstruction of his childhood, his fictional world in spatial terms, and the peculiarly Jewish notion of time and fate experienced by the characters in his novels. In addition, Schwartz develops a new perspective not only on Appelfeld's work, but on Holocaust literature per se. He sees Appelfeld as a Holocaust writerwhose underlying concerns go beyond his experiences as a Holocaust survivor to include larger issues of Jewish identity in the modern period.

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About the author (2001)

Yigal Schwartz is Director of the International Research Center for Hebrew, Jewish and Israeli Literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He served until recently as Chair of the Department of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was visiting professor at Harvard University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He is the author of many articles and books on modern Hebrew literature and culture. He has edited more than one hundred books by well-known as well as young and promising Israeli writers including Ruth Almog, Nissim Aloni, Aharon Appelfeld, Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Yoel Hoffman, Amos Oz, Tsruyah Shalev, and Binyamin Tammuz. He was the coeditor with Tsruyah Shalev of the literary journal Efes Shtayim. His forthcoming book is Love, Ideology, and the Land of Israel.

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