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New York Times Book ReviewAncient religious longing, modern political aspirations and personal dreams of liberation all intersect [here]. . . . Unlike many of the pioneers who went to make a new life in the Land of Israel, Agnon tried to take everything with him, which is why his writing is so packed, so intensely allusive. This is one of the glories of Agnon's prose. . . . [He is haunted by a] mixture of pride and shame at being an intellectual in a society that worshiped farmers, a writer in a culture founded on a dream of physical labor. . . . Of course all these paradoxes help make Agnon the great modernist that he is.
— Jonathan Rosen