"Jerusalem is a port city on the shore of eternity," wrote poet Yehuda Amichai." Last week, contemporary Israeli writers and translated-into-Hebrew international writers sailed into the Fourth International Writers Festival in Jerusalem for conversations, encounters, music and films that were articulate, bracing, confrontational, moving and at times inspirational.
Dave Eggers, the literary wunderkind, almost mustered some courage. This week he refused to go to Germany to accept the prestigious, $50,000 literary award created by Gunter Grass—the Nobel laureate who recently caused on international uproar over his poem chastising Israel for threatening global stability. But Eggers’ seeming act of courage was more apparent than real. Essentially, he declined the award because he didn’t wan
On October 20, Amos Oz's latest book--his 14th--will get released in the United States. But it's been out for at least a month in England, and the reviews have been strong. The wordisthat it's a moving, sparely written short story collection dominated by a sense of loss.
This week brought news that Obama is reading David Grossman's novel "To the End of the Land" while summering on Martha's Vineyard. It was one of the best reviewed book's last year, and that it focuses on an Israeli mother whose son is killed in yet another Arab war, is probably lost on no one. Certainly not Jews.
Q – The recent police detainment of prominent right wing Israeli rabbis accused of incitement has been in the news lately. At issue is the halachic tract “Torat Hamelech," (the “Torah of Kings”) which allegedly condones the murder of non Jews in some circumstances. This is horrible, but how is it different from any artist or politician making an outlandish statement? Certainly those on the left have said equally inflammatory things. Are we discriminating against the rabbis? Aren’t they entitled to freedom of speech?<
Film about Amos Oz and two based on the fiction of David Grossman and Yehoshua Kenaz are part of Israel Film Festival.
Special To The Jewish Week
Israeli artists are as introspective as any in the world. I doubt if any filmmakers, writers, painters, musicians or composers anywhere spend as much time pondering the nature of their national identity at both the micro and macro levels.
The personal and the political collide in profound ways in his new novel.
The first thing David Grossman did in a recent Jewish Week interview was apologize: “The protest ran an hour later than expected,” he said, after pushing back the planned start time. “I couldn’t leave.”