“Laish” by Aharon Appelfeld

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”

World Book Day

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.

Continue reading “World Book Day”

“For Every Sin” by Aharon Appelfeld

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”