Benjamin Balint & Matti Friedman: 1973 & 2023

The Jewish Review of Books Podcast
The Jewish Review of Books Podcast
Benjamin Balint & Matti Friedman: 1973 & 2023
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On today’s episode, Abe spoke with two brilliant Jerusalem-based journalists, Ben Balint and Matti Friedman. Ben’s most recent book, Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History won the 2024 National Jewish Book Award in biography. Matti Friedman is the author, most recently, of Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.

When Abe asked them how they were processing the tragedy, they said, characteristically, that they’ve been doing so through writing. In our Winter issue, Matti wrote a brilliant reflection on the novel Adjusting Sights by Haim Sabato, a great Hebrew novel about the Yom Kippur War, while Ben dived into a new biography about Golda Meir by Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt. 

Their work has helped them consider the unsettling similarities between today’s war, and the war of fifty years ago, and the discussion is wide-ranging, exploring the question of when we can begin to write about events, the uniquely Israeli perspective of Haim Sabato’s novel, and the ways that both Sabato and Meir wove the past in with their present through the use of story.

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