Two Tales: Betrothed & Edo and Enam

Newly revised translations from the Hebrew, with new and illustrated annotations, of 2 novellas by way of Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon. tales essentially in discussion with each other, sharing parts of moonstruck sleepwalkers, disengaged lecturers, and the in most cases Agnonian unfulfilled love.

In Betrothed, Jacob Rechnitz, a marine biologist arrives in pre-World struggle I Jaffa at the Mediterranean coast of the Land of Israel. His scholarly ambitions and delicate dalliance with six women is interrupted by means of the arriving of his benefactor Ehrlich and his daughter Shoshanah, who's destined to awaken Jacob from his waking shut eye in the course of the energy in their adolescence betrothal oath.

The idyllic peace of Betrothed is counterpointed in Edo and Enam by means of restlessness resulting in tragedy. the students Ginat and Gamzu are wanderers; males just like the narrator himself, playing on trip for a few magical resolution to their difficulties. mockingly, Gamzu’s spouse Gemulah, a sleepwalker, places an finish to their quest in a fashion as tragic because it is unforeseen.

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Even the lengthy and playful parade of "G's"-Greifenbach, Goethe, Gamzu, Gesenius, Glasgow, and so on. -is a parody of the talismans and incantations implicit within the "G" of Gad. This final is the identify of Gemulah's tribe, but in addition the identify of the idol of Luck-another fake desire, one other fake god. Luck-and Love. For if right here, roo, as in "Betrothed," lady is a sleepwalker, her suggest­ ing is reversed. Eros is ungenerous, a bringer of shambles and darkness. the one gentle that's left intact: that "anyone who's now not blind, somebody who has the facility to determine" will, after the demise of the "scholar," utilize his works. For "scholar, " learn "he who files, he who tells," learn "Agnon": that's, he who can converse with the phrases of Plato's Stranger, past the separate borders of leisure and restlessness: "For movement will be at relaxation and relaxation in movement, for both of them .. will corn­ pel the opposite to alter into irs contrary. " ALLE! I< MANDELBAUM urban collage of latest York November, 1965 (xii) BETROTHED I j AFFA IS THE DARLING OF THE WATERS: THE WAVES of the nice Sea kiss her shorelines, a blu e sky is her day-by-day disguise, she brims with all kinds of individuals, Jews and Ishmaelites and Christians, bu sy at exchange and exertions, at transport and forwarding. yet there are others in Jaffa who take no half in any of those: academics, for instance-and su ch a one was once Jacob Rechnitz, whatever of whose tale we're approximately to inform. W chicken Jacob Rechnitz had accomplished his time period of stu dy and been topped with a doctorate, he joined a bunch of tourists going u p to the Holy Land. He observed the land and it was once stable, and people who dwelt inside of it, they have been calm and fanatics of peace. And he stated to himself, If purely I cou ld earn my bread right here, I should still settle during this land. S. Y. AG N O N Jaffa used to be his dearest love, for she lay on the lips of the ocean, and Rechnitz had regularly committed himself to all that grows within the sea. He occurred to go to a college, and that faculty wanted a instructor of Latin and German. The specialists observed him, deliberated on him; they provided him a publish as instructor, and he accredited. Now Rechnitz was once a botanist by means of career and specialist within the normal sciences. yet because the typical sciences have been already within the fingers of one other instructor, whereas the publish of Latin and German used to be vacant, it used to be this publish that was once assigned him. for often It 1s now not the placement that makes the guy, however the guy who makes the placement­ even though it should also be stated that Rechnitz was once an appropriate selection. So Rechnitz started working. He met his tasks faithfully. He selected the perfect books and didn't weigh his scholars down with tedious themes. He was once by no means sour along with his scholars; by no means too proud together with his fellow academics, such a lot of whom have been self­ taught. His scholars enjoyed him, his colleagues ac­ cepted him. His students-because he taken care of them as neighbors; his colleagues-because he al­ lo\\'ed them to regard hirn as one. And, too, his tall bearing and entire voice, his manners and his chest­ nut eyes that seemed with affection on every person, won him the affection of all.

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