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Book Reviews 157 ofGrossman's characters, and the arrested violence is replicated here. The father takes it upon himself to renovate the apartment of a neighbor, a genteel single woman of taste. The result is an arrested but ferocious attraction between the virile father and the fading fragile woman. Having been dominated by his wife throughout their marriage, the father falls in love with the neighbor as his only voluntary act since arriving in Israel. His wife, like a hawk, watches the playing out of this dangerous amatory episode. The father's sexual power is entirely encompassed in demolishing the walls of the woman's apartment, now left entirely ruined, after the Fieldingian orgy of destruction. The complexity of the characters is reflected in the language provided for them by the author. The son's highly cultured Hebrew co-exists with the broken language of the father and his use of Yiddish. The family has its own language which Grossman creates with stunning verisimilitude. In her rage, the mother claims that the boy's stunted growth is of his own volition, and despite the grotesque element in this claim, there is a germ of truth in it. The agony ofgrowing up, the element of being defiled by violence, sex, and dependency, have frightened this lyrically sensitive child, who is afraid of change and yet craves it. He has fallen in love with one of the girls in his class, only to see his best friend take her away. This act of betrayal is insufferable. The last scene finds the boy trying his Houdini act in an abandoned refrigerator in the valley. Going through an epiphanic experience, and no longer eager to impress others, he becomes, like the hunger artist of Kafka, both the performance and its public.l Gila Ramras-Rauch Hebrew College, Boston A Book That Was Lost and Other Stories, by S. Y. Agnon, edited with introduction by Alan Mintz and Anne Golomb Hoffman. New York: Schocken Books, 1995. 436 pp.$27.50. In 1970, four years after Agnon won the Nobel Prize for literature (1966), Schocken Books published an anthology of S. Y. Agnon's short stories, Twenty-One Stories, edited by Nahum N. Glatzer. About one-half of the stories included in that selection appeared in the translation for the first time. The selection also included an "Editorial Postscript" composed 'This review was first published in World Literature Today, Spring 1992. 158 SHOFAR Summer 1996 Vol. 14, No.4 of a brief presentation ofAgnon's work, and also one paragraph per story in which the editor attempted to point to some key element in the story -motifs, symbols, structure, etc. Now, in 1995, Schocken Books published a new anthology ofAgnon's work, A Book Tbat Was Lost and Other Stories. Agnon died in 1970, during the final preparation of the 1970 selection for press, and while the 1995 anthology cannot possibly include works that Agnon wrote after the publication of the 1970 selection, the 1995 selection can and in fact does include posthumously published stories. Since Agnon's death, his daughter Emuna Yaron became responsible for the publication of a significant portion of Agnon's work. It is, of course, intriguing to see how a quarter of a century (1970-1995) of literary activity in our ever-changing world influenced the 1995 selection. The 1995 anthology is about 150 pages longer than the 1970 one. It includes 25 stories, 11 of which appeared in the 1970 anthology and are translated by the same translators, with the exception ofreplacing Gershon Schocken's good translation of "The Lady and the Pedlar" by the excellent translation by Robert Alter of the same story. In this context of comparing the two translations it is my general observation that when one researches or closely teaches a text (as Alter does), one may encounter very fine points which do not stand out as clearly when one translates a text. I will address four points regarding the 1995 anthology: the stories that are included in both the 1970 and the 1995 anthologies; the stories that were included in the 1970 anthology but excluded from the 1995 one; the newly included stories in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 157-160
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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