To This Day
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To This Day

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  7 reviews
To This Day, Nobel prizewinner S.Y. Agnon's last novel (first published in Hebrew in 1952) is also his last to be translated into English. It is a brilliantly accomplished and haunting work. On the surface it is a comically entertaining tale of a young writer - a Galician Jew who has lived in Palestine, returns to Europe on the eve of World War I, and is now stranded in Be...more
Hardcover, 177 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Toby Press
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I have recently been undertaking with a friend to read the works of Nobel Prize winners past. We started with the letter "a," and I picked first,and so our first book was to be anything Shmuel Agnon. I really enjoyed the book -- in a way.

In order to justify how I can say that I like a book which I found in the end to be so pointless, I will include the following passage:

"When the war broke out, I stopped working. I even put aside my big book on the history of clothing. I couldn't write a thing...more
Robert Wechsler
This is an odd first-person narrative in which nothing much happens, but wonderful little stories are told. The narrative voice is unique: chatty, intimate and sometimes even confessional and yet not very open, critical and cynical but appreciative. This look at Germany during wartime (WWI) from a Jewish point of view is told mostly indirectly, in pieces and parables. Its characters are sketched rather than drawn. The narrator wanders and goes back and forth, a piece of flotsam that can also be...more
S.Y. Agnon won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966. He is, I think, the only Israeli writer to have done so. This is his last novel and is a slender one, at least compared to some of his earlier, rather hefty works. It is a simple story, apparently somewhat autobiographical, of a Galician Jew who wanders from place to place in World War I Germany looking for a place to stay . . . a kind of representative, I suspect, of the wandering Jew. During the course of his journey, he comes into contact...more
Never has a piece of comic literature hit me as hard as this little book. Recounting the journey of a Jewish man caught up in the First World War as a civilian in Germany. The book is his tale of journey through the country to provide a service for a widow and the people he meets along the way as he searches for a room. This comic tale is a subtle indictment against human egoism as it is a commentary on exile, loneliness and Zionism. The book was first written in Hebrew and now translated by Hil...more
May 02, 2009 Marjanne rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone interested in Judaica or WWI
For the first time in a long time I decided to skip the introduction to this novel and then go back to it after I was finished. I think that was a good choice, mostly because I was able to sit back and enjoy the story without thinking in too much depth about it. The author's experiences in WWI Germany were interesting. I also liked how the story was told, it was easy to read. Then I read the introduction and read about how much is 'between the lines' in the story, the social commentary, etc. Whi...more
This book was enjoyable because it felt to me that the author was talking me as he told his story. It takes place in WW I Germany and is told by an Austrian Jew. The narrator tends to ramble at times, yet his musings don't seem to be on a tangent even when he does wander off because that's what people do when they are telling you a story. I didn't understand the symbolism until I read the translator's comments after finishing the book.
Manish Katyal
I devoured the book. This was my first Agnon book -- will not be the last.
If you like Issac Bashevis Singer, you'll like Agnon.
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aka Shmuel Yosef Agnon or Shai Agnon

Awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people." (Award shared with Nelly Sachs.) He died in Jerusalem, Israel.
More about S.Y. Agnon...
Only Yesterday A Simple Story A Book that Was Lost: and Other Stories Shira (Library of Modern Jewish Literature) Days of Awe: A Treasury of Jewish Wisdom for Reflection, Repentance, and Renewal  on the High  Holy Days

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