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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 239 Reviews I cannot imagine anyone failing to profit from a careful reading of Telling and Retelling. For that reason I regret the decision of the Indiana University Press to issue the book only in an overpriced hardcover edition. I would encourage the publisher to reconsider and to release a reasonablypriced paperback edition forthwith. Alan Cooper Hebrew Union College - Jewish InstilUle ofReligion Cincinnati, OH 45220 THE MANY WORLDS OF GERSHON SHOFMAN. By Norman Tamor. Pp. xii + 267. West Orange, NJ: Behrman House, 1989. Paper. The book in focus-a study of the literary works of Gershon Shofman, the master of the Hebrew tiny story (many are not more than anecdotes)is divided into two parts. The first part draws the biographical chronicles of Shofman while referring to some of his stories which were either written during the mentioned periods of time or were influenced by life experiences during those periods. The second part is devoted to Shofman's literary work and holds three sections: (1) symbolism (with a historicaltheoretical foreword on the nature of literary symbolism) while emphasizing symbolic protagonists in Shofman's stories and the symbol of hate; (2) themes and topics--experiences of army-life, the ideal human, love, and the woman figure; and (3) Shofman's Ars Poetica, Shofman's references to literary criticism and biblical themes and allusions in Shofman's stories. The book opens with an introduction by William Cutter. The introduction is very informative. The first part of the book follows important stations in Shofman's life and wanderings: childhood in Russia (18801904 ); moving to Galicia (1904-1913); moving to Austria (1913-1938); daily difficulties in Vienna and later; the First World War's footprints on Shofman's stories (stories with neither concentration on plot and action nor on characters or conflicts, but instead an emphasis on subjective feelings during war times); the closeness between Shofman and the Austrian writer Peter Altenberg; marriage (1921) and touching parental experiences; moving to the village (Wetzelsdorf) and the sobering from previously cultivated ideas of the romantic beauty of the village (that frustration was Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 240 Reviews yielded by derogative manners of the rural inhabitants); moving to Israel (1939) when Shofman was fifty-nine; his admiration of the land of Israel, the vital and uplifting literary milieu in Israel; the acceptance of Israel's most prestigious prize for literary creation (1956); moving from Tel Aviv to Haifa. Shofman's stay in Israel until his death (1972) earns much attention in this book. There is an emphasis on Shofman's continuous encounter with his new-old homestead and the flaming enthusiasm with which he portrays that encounter: the admiration of Shofman for Israel's landscapes and people which conceived many stories; and the most warm responses to Shofman's literary work by Israel's writers and readers. As mentioned above, Tarnor interweaves references to Shofman's stories with narrating Shofman's biographical chronicles and experiences. The second part of the book channels attention to Shofman's literary pieces. The critical references to Shofman's stories tend to follow a repeating track: a short consideration of the topic in focus (symbolism in Shofman's stories, army experiences in Shofman's stories, the woman figure, etc.), a brief evaluation of Shofman's aesthetic achievement in molding the topic under consideration, and examples from various stories. In most cases, the references to the stories are primarily┬Ěconsidered for the purpose of narrating the story's plot and depicting its characters. The second section of the book's second part examines Shofman's responses to literary criticism, and the final section reports biblical allusions and motifs in Shofman's stories. The book's various discussions are evidently inspired by the writer's personal affection for Shofman. In this respect, Shofman the person is no less of a protagonist in this book than is his literary work. Yair Mazor University ofTexas Austin. TX 78712 SIN AND SANCTION IN ISRAEL AND MESOPOTAMIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY. By K. van der Toom. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 22. pp. 252 + 9 Plates. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1985. Paper. It is a commonplace now to affirm that ancient Israel and its principal monument, the...


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