Not a Simple Story: Love and Politics in a Modern Hebrew Novel

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Lexington Books, Oct 1, 2001 - Literary Collections - 168 pages
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Not a Simple Story presents the modern Hebrew writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon in a new light as an artist cum thinker whose novels and short stories manifest a deep understanding of the social and political crisis at the heart of modern Jewish life. Based on a close reading of Agnon's seminal novel A Simple Story, the book argues that Agnon was essentially a Jewish nationalist and secular modernist whose critical portrait of modern Jewish life seeks not to demean Jews but to hold them to a higher standard. By demonstrating all that Jewish society lacks, Agnon implicitly shows what it needs for it to thrive a return to such lost notions as Jewish self-respect, heroism, and romantic love. Sharon Green's scholarly critique of this modern Hebrew classic offers students of Jewish studies a unique opportunity to penetrate the literary enigma Agnon has represented for almost a century."
 

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Contents

The Problem of Love in Modern Literature A Historical Overview
xi
Agnon the Social Critic The Successful Society and the Stifling of Personal Freedom
33
Agnon the Psychologist Part 1 The Prevented Hero and His Inner Obstacles
57
Agnon the Psychologist Part 2 The Sorrows of Young HirshlMadness As the Weak Mans Escape from Unhappiness
77
Agnon the Theologian The Crowning ParadoxThe Decline of Religion and the Loss of Love
111
Conclusion A Portrait of the Artist As an Ironic RomanticThe Impossibility of the Jewish Love Story
137
Bibliography
147
Index
155
About the Author
165
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Page 149 - A Book That Was Lost, and Other Stories, ed. Alan Mintz and Anne Golomb Hoffman. New York: Schocken, 1995.

About the author (2001)

Sharon M. Green teaches modern Jewish literature at the University of Toronto.

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