21st Century Literature discussion

The History of Love
This topic is about The History of Love
97 views
2013 Book Discussions > The History of Love - Zvi Litvinoff, Spoilers Allowed (June 2013)

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Thing Two (thingtwo) Leo and Alma each tell their part of the story in their own voice, but Zvi's sections are told through the eyes of someone else. Why? Is it just to break up the story, or is there another reason?


Terry Pearce | 763 comments The story builds towards a scene that hinges upon being seen differently from the two points of view -- those of the main two characters. Both are First person because seeing it through their eyes is crucial. Another POV would confuse that. Also, we need to kind of see Rosa's POV at at least one point in particular -- there would be too much 1st person POV switching if we got this as well. 3rd person suits Zvi's story, and Alma and Leo being equal 1st person protagonists makes sense. We get Bird in kind of first person, but only in found correspondence, so this works too.


Thing Two (thingtwo) Ah, but is this the only reason? I think there's a hint here in Zvi's story not being told in his own voice.


Lacewing Ah! Got it with your hint, Thing Two.

He admired Leo's work over his own. And, in a way, he lived Leo's message by setting love above his own honor and Leo's. So, (mis)representing Leo's work as his own was a way of honoring it. Though I don't think he saw this, I think Rosa did.

What a great touch that Leo's own epitaph, carried by Zvi his whole life, wraps up the book.


Matthew | 154 comments Another "hint" comes from the Chapter that Zvi adds to the end of the book about the Death of Leo Gursky.

In Jewish law, there was 39 things that constitute "work" (lighting a fire, harvesting a crop, writing, etc.) and that therefore cannot be performed on the Sabbath.

The chapter that Zvi added was the 39th chapter, a number that would indicate to Jews "work not performed."


Thing Two (thingtwo) Ah, nice! That's a detail I'd have missed.


message 7: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen | 67 comments Matthew wrote: "Another "hint" comes from the Chapter that Zvi adds to the end of the book about the Death of Leo Gursky.

In Jewish law, there was 39 things that constitute "work" (lighting a fire, harvesting a c..."


Interesting connection...thank you Matthew.


back to top