It might seem that Aharon Appelfeld’s novels are mystical. Yet, with the enchanting characters – whose blindness, deafness, muteness, psychic unrest, vulnerabilities of age, and moral defects serve to “exaggerate purposely, to make things visible” (as a character says in a different one of his novels) – there is the splendorous reality of the human condition on full display. Continue reading ““Laish” by Aharon Appelfeld”
Today is World Book Day, as designated by UNESCO. When John Paul II addressed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1980, he said:
Education consists in fact in enabling man to become more man, to “be” more and not just to “have” more and consequently, through everything he “has”, everything he “possesses”, to “be” man more fully. For this purpose man must be able to “be more” not only “with others”, but also “for others”. Education is of fundamental importance for the formation of inter-human and social relations.
Tonight I am remembering standing in a forest surrounding the Nazi extermination camp called Treblinka. Why? Because I just finished reading Aharon Appelfeld’s novel Blooms of Darkness and, upon finishing it, am feeling somewhat like I did after going to Treblinka. Continue reading ““Blooms of Darkness” by Aharon Appelfeld”
What a silly, inverted question. And what could possibly make me ask it?
The answer is this anecdote at the end of Aharon Appelfeld’s memoir Table for One: Under the Light of Jerusalem: Continue reading “Does your city inhabit you?”
Today I finished reading a novel by Aharon Appelfeld titled For Every Sin.
In it, the protagonist, Theo, is a young adult who has survived the Holocaust and is trying to walk all the way back to his hometown. En route, he continually encounters “refugees” – other Jews like him who have survived the camps but for whom he has disdain and with whom he doesn’t think he has much in common. Continue reading ““For Every Sin” by Aharon Appelfeld”