Reviews

On Agnonizing in English


A City in Its Fullness

by S. Y. Agnon, edited by Alan Mintz and Jeffrey Saks 

Toby Press, 617 pp., $29.95

 

Ancestral Tales: Reading the Buczacz Stories of S.Y. Agnon

by Alan Mintz

Stanford University Press, 440 pp., $65

It is hard to convey the specific gravity of S. Y. Agnon in Israeli literary culture. For the Hebrew reader, Agnon is not merely canonical, he stands almost outside of time. One can get a sense of this in the recent remarks of one of Israel’s leading literary critics. Writing in Ha’aretz on the 50th anniversary of Agnon’s Nobel Prize in Literature, Ariel Hirschfeld described Agnon as unequivocally “the greatest Hebrew author of all generations.”

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About the Author

Ruby Namdar is a Hebrew novelist living in New York. His novel Ha-bayit asher necherav won the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award, and will appear in English under the title The Ruined House with Harper this November.

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