n his new collection of reflections and reminiscences, Mr. Samuel strikes an elegiac note immediately and never abandons it....

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n his new collection of reflections and reminiscences, Mr. Samuel strikes an elegiac note immediately and never abandons it. Composing this book at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where he is studying modern sciences, he finds himself divided between two non-communicating worlds, that of allusive inner being and that of scientific reality in which ""emotion is irrelevant except as the driving force toward study"". And this is complicated by ""glimpses of a Power for which I accept the name of God"". Through this present assemblage of memories and emotions, loves and hates, ethnic and national attachments, as they swarm from him, he attempts to answer the great riddles presently confronting him. Now it must be admitted that his riddles are not gripping, but that his power of evocation of distant decades is considerable, as well as is his way of summoning up real people instantly. His pictures of his Uncle Berel's tailor shop on the Lower East Side, of his mother and childhood in Rumania, of schooldays in England and of army service, Paris, famous cities and men are all caught up in a European, or Jewish, sentimentality that is at once affecting and foggy and quite rich with sighs. He never answers his riddles, but only comes up with more of them during an apocalyptical plane ride down the Nile. Recommended.

Pub Date: N/A

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Page Count: -

Publisher: Knopf

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Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963