Twilight

( 3 )

Overview

Raphael Lipkin is a man obsessed. He hears voices. He talks to ghosts. He is spending the summer at the Mountain Clinic, a psychiatric hospital in upstate New York—not as a patient, but as a visiting professional with a secret, personal quest.
 
A professor of literature and a Holocaust survivor, Raphael, having rebuilt his life since the war, sees it on the verge of coming apart once more. He longs to talk to Pedro, the man who rescued ...
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Twilight: A Novel

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Overview

Raphael Lipkin is a man obsessed. He hears voices. He talks to ghosts. He is spending the summer at the Mountain Clinic, a psychiatric hospital in upstate New York—not as a patient, but as a visiting professional with a secret, personal quest.
 
A professor of literature and a Holocaust survivor, Raphael, having rebuilt his life since the war, sees it on the verge of coming apart once more. He longs to talk to Pedro, the man who rescued him as a fifteen-year-old orphan from postwar Poland and brought him to Paris, becoming his friend, mentor, hero, and savior. But Pedro disappeared inside the prisons of Stalin’s Russia shortly after the war. Where is Pedro now, and how can Raphael discern what is true and what is false without him?
 
A mysterious nighttime caller directs Raphael’s search to the Mountain Clinic, a unique asylum for patients whose delusions spring from the Bible. Amid patients calling themselves Adam, Cain, Abraham, Joseph, Jeremiah, and God, Raphael searches for Pedro’s truth and the meaning of his own survival in a novel that penetrated the mysteries of good, evil, and madness.

Raphael Lipkin is a professor of mystical tradition who finds himself at a psychiatric clinic where the patients believe they are characters from the Bible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A masterful storyteller . . . Wiesel creates a kaleidoscope of images that raise tantalizing questions."
—The Boston Globe

From the abyss of the death camps he has come as a messenger to mankind—not with a message of hate and revenge, but with one of brotherhood and atonement.”
—From the Citation for the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize
 
“Wiesel uses words to craft literary monuments, works that stand as acts of remembrance and as meditations on the nature of remembrance itself.”
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Unquestionably, Wiesel is one of the most admirable, indeed indispensable, human beings now writing.”
Washington Post
 
“Not since Albert Camus has there been such an eloquent spokesman for man.”
The New York Review of Books

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Exploring the painful affinity between life and death, sanity and madness, Nobel Laureate Wiesel draws yet again on the experiences of the Holocaust to provide an answer. At the novel's center is Raphael Lipkin, a professor who, convinced he is going mad, seeks respite from his tortured imaginings in a mental clinic where he is both a temporary staff member, exploring the relationship between madness and prophecy, and a patient. Raphael's family has disappeared into the death camps, but although he speaks to them in his dreams, it is to his absent friend Pedro that he pours out his heart, for whom he searches among the madmen in the sanitarium. Guilt obsesses him, as it must all survivors, but the particularity of his guilt resides in Pedro, who gave his life or his sanity which for Raphael are the same in an effort to save Raphael's brother Yoel. Poignant though the recounted suffering must in fact have been, the canvas is too broad for any single player to kindle sympathy, the expression of emotion too overblown to bring tears. Torture, death, the violence of separation are recounted in cliche-ridden prose. Yet a lingering question manages to possess the reader: Is every survivor already half dead? May
Library Journal
$18.95. f Raphael Lipkin, a professor of mystical traditions and a Holocaust survivor, comes to the Mountain Clinic to study the relationship between madness and prophecy. He is seeking among these madmen, who believe they are Cain, Abraham, Joseph, the Messiah, some fragmentary truth, some fleeting epiphany. Why did he survive? ``And what about God in all this?'' In this brilliant and powerful interweaving of past and present, dream and vision, fantasy and reality, Wiesel has synthesized his earlierand ever continuingconcerns, journeying from the Holocaust world of his Night and Dawn to the twilight realm of madness, mysticism, and prophecy. Marion Wiesel's translation is perfectly attuned to her husband's absorbing style. Highly recommended. Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805210583
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 401,751
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

ELIE WIESEL is the author of more than fifty books, both fiction and nonfiction. He is a recipient of the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor’s Grand-Croix, an honorary knighthood of the British Empire and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.

Biography

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky." Since the publication of this passage in Night, Elie Wiesel has devoted his life to ensuring that the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust, and to fostering the hope that they never happen again.

Wiesel was 15 years old when the Nazis invaded his hometown of Sighet, Romania. He and his family were taken to Auschwitz, where his mother and the youngest of his three sisters died. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before Allied forces liberated the camp in 1945. After the war, Wiesel attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked for a while as a journalist. He met the Nobel Prize-winning writer Francois Mauriac, who helped persuade Wiesel to break his private vow never to speak of his experiences in the death camps.

During a long recuperation from a car accident in New York City in 1956, Wiesel decided to make his home in the United States. His memoir Night, which appeared two years later (compressed from an earlier, longer work, And the World Remained Silent), was initially met with skepticism. "The Holocaust was not something people wanted to know about in those days," Wiesel later said in a Time magazine interview.

But eventually the book drew recognition and readers. "A slim volume of terrifying power" (The New York Times), Night remains one of the most widely read works on the Holocaust. It was followed by over 40 more books, including novels, essay collections and plays. Wiesel's writings often explore the paradoxes raised by his memories: he finds it impossible to speak about the Holocaust, yet impossible to remain silent; impossible to believe in God, yet impossible not to believe.

Wiesel has also worked to bring attention to the plight of oppressed people around the world. "When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant," he said in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. "Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -- at that moment -- become the center of the universe."

Though lauded by many as a crusader for justice, Wiesel has also been criticized for his part in what some see as the commercialization of the Holocaust. In his 2000 memoir And the Sea Is Never Full, Wiesel shares some of his own qualms about fame and politics, but reiterates what he sees as his duty as a survivor and witness:

''The one among us who would survive would testify for all of us. He would speak and demand justice on our behalf; as our spokesman he would make certain that our memory would penetrate that of humanity. He would do nothing else.''

Good To Know

Use of the term "Holocaust" to describe the extermination of six million Jews and millions of other civilians by the Nazis is widely thought to have originated in Night.

Two of Wiesel's subsequent works , Dawn and The Accident, form a kind of trilogy with Night. "These stories live deeply in all that I have written and all that I am ever going to write," the author has said.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel to be chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust in 1978. In 1980, Wiesel became founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He is also the founding president of the Paris-based Universal Academy of Cultures and cofounder of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

Since 1969, Marion Wiesel has translated her husband Elie's books from French into English. They live in New York City and have one son.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Eliezer Wiesel (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 30, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sighet, Romania
    1. Education:
      La Sorbonne

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    Posted February 24, 2013

    Loving this book

    LOVE THIS BOOKREAD IT

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