Shira

Overview

Shira is Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon's final, epic novel. Unfinished at the time of his death in 1970, the Hebrew original was published a year later. With this newly revised English translation by Zeva Shapiro, including archival material never before published in English, The Toby Press launches its S.Y. Agnon Library - the fullest collection of Agnon's works in new and revised translations. "Shira is S. Y. Agnon's culminating effort to articulate through the comprehensive form of the novel his vision of the role...

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Shira

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Overview

Shira is Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon's final, epic novel. Unfinished at the time of his death in 1970, the Hebrew original was published a year later. With this newly revised English translation by Zeva Shapiro, including archival material never before published in English, The Toby Press launches its S.Y. Agnon Library - the fullest collection of Agnon's works in new and revised translations. "Shira is S. Y. Agnon's culminating effort to articulate through the comprehensive form of the novel his vision of the role of art in human reality...Enacted against the background of Jerusalem life in the gathering shadows of a historical cataclysm of inconceivable proportions, Shira is so brilliantly rendered that, even without an ending, it deserves a place among the major modern novels."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Agnon's massive, not-quite-finished novel about a German-Jewish scholar's adultery, set in British-occupied Jerusalem in the late 1930s, is a yeasty mix of realism and allegory. In this, his last major work, the Israeli Nobel laureate portrays Manfred Herbst, distinguished Byzantine specialist at Hebrew University, a married man with four children who has an obsessive affair with a blunt, bossy young nurse named Shira. Though her name means ``poetry,'' she is neither pretty nor intellectual, and seems an unlikely object for his affections, yet his liaison with this sickly woman (she develops leprosy) jolts him out of his ivory-tower mentality. Capturing the Jewish refugees' precarious, day-to-day existence in Palestine, the growing menace of Hitler and the rising wave of Arab attacks, the long, digressive narrative is thick with the tales of immigrants, with often ironic philosophical nuggets and with Herbst's reflections, dreams and sadomasochistic fantasies as he transposes Byzantine decadence and splendor onto a world being overtaken by genocidal horror. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This posthumously published novel by Hebrew literature's only Nobelist is the story of an affair between a middle-aged professor and a woman called Shira, whose name also means ``poetry.'' The milieu is the world of the German-Jewish professors who have emigrated to Jerusalem during the early days of the Hebrew University--the Thirties--when Jerusalem was under British rule. Professor Manfred Herbst is bored with his life, studies, marriage, and friends. During this mid-life crisis he becomes obsessed with Shira, a coarse, outspoken Israeli nurse whom he alternately loves and hates. Agnon uses allegory, dream sequences, and fantasies in his novel to project his view of the role of art in human reality. Readers of Agnon will delight in another work by a master Hebrew storyteller.-- Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592643530
  • Publisher: Toby Press LLC, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Pages: 814
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 2.00 (d)

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