The article presents the novel Shira as a portrait of time in which the map of history unfurls, as seen by S. Y. Agnon through the afflictions of the modern era to which he belonged. The narrator's consciousness of time is relentless and vindictive, gradually developing against the background of mandatory Jerusalem, Germany, and Byzantium. The places and events described reflect a pattern of anti-Semitic persecution in its religious-political guise. In the inner circle, the Jews, the Christians, the English, and the Arabs in Jerusalem demonstrate a "master-slave" pattern of relationships. The perception and understanding of time are developed through the story of Professor Herbst and Shira, an enigmatic figure who governs Herbst's actions and shapes the plot. The structure that organizes and activates the protagonist's actions is portrayed as a super-Kabbalistic structure by means of which the Jewish author points out the path of tikkun as a spiritual mission that allows man to have an influence on the world.


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pp. 339-381
Launched on MUSE
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