I love the book. Oz gives through his autobiography a fascinating vue of the birth and early life of the State of Israel. But I am deadly disappointed by the bad quality of the digital Amazon version, full of typos and misplaced references.!
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4,3 sur 5 étoiles
5,0 sur 5 étoilesMagnificent!
10 décembre 2016 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: BrochéAchat vérifié
I feel I am a rather harsh reviewer so it has to be good for me to award five stars. A Tale of Love and Darkness is quite wonderful and richly deserves high acclaim. A bildungsroman... a family saga... a memoir about growing up in the newly formed state of Israel, A Tale of Love and darkness held me from the opening sentence to the last. A non-jew, I have never understood the relentless persecution of the Jews over the centuries and I have always believed in their right to a homeland. Oz is an intellectual and free thinker and acknowledges throughout the book the suffering of the Arabs as well as the Israelis. He describes his thoughts as a child from a right wing family when he is obviously influenced by the opinions of the adult world he is surrounded by, to later in life when he joins a kibbutz and discovers his own sense of morality. Life was harsh and frightening for everyone in those early days of building a new nation from scratch under the hostile, unfriendly eyes of the British with never-ending threats of attacks from the surrounding Arab nations and none more so than for someone like Oz's mother. A beauty from a privileged background in Eastern Europe, well educated and speaking several languages, she must have felt the weight of being plunged into the struggle in those early days of Israel. Relegated to household chores and mandanity for her entire life, taking a backseat to her scholarly husband and the other male members of their community I can understand to a degree how unhappy she must have been. She loses herself in fanciful tales she relates to her young son and maintains a close friendship with girls from the same school and background in Eastern Europe. Her story touched me deeply. Overall this is a story of great understanding and compassion, of intelligent observation, and deep thought. Although it is rather a large book I could have gone on reading. A powerful story told against the backdrop of one of the most enterprising and courageous and yet sad and problematic situations in history, that still makes the headlines on a daily basis. I encourage you to read this magnificent story of the making of Israel and the people who struggled to make it happen.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesof Jerusalem: a comedy and tragedy
21 janvier 2017 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: BrochéAchat vérifié
I wouldn't call "A Tale of Love & Darkness" by Amos Oz an autobiography. I would call it a memoir; a memoir of love and darkness of Jerusalem; the new state of Israel; kibbutz life. I would call if a memorial for his mother, who took her own life at the age of 38 when Oz was about 13.
Oz's account of life in Jerusalem will make you laugh, cry and feel deep compassion for the early settlers who lived and died through the War of Independence in 1948. This was a time when Jerusalemites could be killed purposefully by the enemy for emerging from the house simply to bring in the laundry or to play with a toy in the backyard.
You will feel the agony of young Amos, who, even unto manhood, endeavours to come to terms with why his mother chose suicide. She may have been manic depressive, decades before such a condition was recognized and treated.
Oz is a writer's writer. He inspires admiration and envy in any writer with his use of language, so rich in description, so capable of expressing humour, gentleness, affection, poignancy and nostalgia.
Opposed to the heart-rending account of his mother is the humour which is at times outrageously funny, for instance in his portrayals of Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. The Begin account in particular brought so many tears to my eyes from laughter that I had to keep wiping them away in order to see what I was reading. Briefly, he tells of the time he and his grandfather were in an auditorium to hear Begin orate. It seems that old Biblial Hebrew had changed to a much more compatible version of Hebrew to be used for everyday life. This was the new Hebrew that the young Sabras (born in Israel) were using. But not Menachem Begin who continued to plow on in old Hebrew. The word for "arm" as in armament, had changed in the new Hebrew to mean something to do with the F word. Begin plowed on, loudly asking who was arming nations, and asking who would arms the Israelis! What the boy heard was the F word, over and over again. The young boy could not contain himself and burst into hilarious laughter, which he couldn't control. To make matters worse, they were sitting in the VIP seats at the front of the auditorium. Out his goes in a flash, being dragged by the ear by grandpop.
Amos Oz came from a family of scholars and writers. He wanted to be a writer. For a while in his teens he thought one had to live an adventurous like in great cities such as Paris (the Hemingway influence) to become a writer. Then he happened to read the Ohio stories by Sherwood Anderson. He realized that a writer writes what a writer knows. S/he writes about everyday people involved in everyday events, the spirit of the place, the hopes, the struggles, the ongoing dreams and the aborted dreams.
Along the way, Oz creates great literature: a veritable feast for the reader.
The book is brilliantly translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange, who is professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, England. De Lange is also an ordained Reform Rabbi. He received the Risa Domb/Porjes Prize for his translation of "A Tale of Love and Darkness."
I am one of those voracious readers who devours books. This one, this "A Tale of Love and Darkness" - this one I read slowly, in order to savour every precious word.
As I neared the finish of Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness I slowed down, not wanting it to end. The author uses the device of repeat and build with about a dozen - of hundreds - of specific memories, the most telling of these his mother's suicide, about which we don't get all we are going to get till the last page.
Many, many paragraphs are studies in how to write, how to draw out emotion in readers, how to talk about, how to find the right tone for narrating events that have been damaging to the speaker, and how to reveal the worst thing of all - shame.
This memoir is a masterwork, and for people - like me - who know the bare-bones history of the creation of the State of Israel, but never deeply considered the emotions - especially the chasmic gap between what was promised back home in Galicia and the reality, the politics, the poverty, the shortage of work for a million refugee intellectuals with three million opinions, as well as the interminable waiting, waiting, Oz's book is an education. It has helped me better understand some of my friends who lived through this history. Five stars!