PHOENIX OVER THE GALILEE by 135633 Ka-tzetnik


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The Israeli novelist Yehiel De-Nur who uses as a pseudonym his concentration camp number is the author of House of Dolls (1955) and Atrocity (1963) which were supra-emotional reconstructions of barbarity. Here the author attempts to relate the holocaust experience to the attitudes and problems of modern Israel in a high-pitched morality tale quavering with sentiment. The beautiful sabra, Galilea, (""symbol of the native soil,"" intones the author in his introduction) awaits her unknown bridgegroom, finds him as Harry Preleshnik, refugee from Auschwitz (symbol of a remnant of a people) and takes on herself the weight of death and suffering. While Harry grows in strength, Galilea sinks into fear and horror, stifling herself with food to still her and Harry's memories of hunger. But in a traumatic recognition, Galilea resolves to shed her fear, travels throughout the World and returns with a determination to ""look reality straight in the eye."" Knowing that barriers of prejudice can cause destruction, she embarks on a plan to ease tensions between Jews and Arabs, accepting the risks. A death mirroring the tragedy of Israel's present divisions also reflects humanity's catastrophes. Stiff-kneed dialogue and muffled characters who just can't move ahead of the author's homiletic jostling.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1969
Publisher: Harper & ROW