A highly intelligent book, but one destined for Oz completeists and Agnon scholars.

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THE SILENCE OF HEAVEN

AGNON'S FEAR OF GOD

Four essays on Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon by the Israeli novelist Oz (The Story Begins, 1999, etc.), who may well be his greatest living heir.

At the outset, Oz readily and gratefully acknowledges Agnon as ``one of my literary mentors.'' The essays in this volume, three of which have never before appeared in English, trace the development of what Oz believes to be the core theme in Agnon's work, namely, the irrevocable collapse of the system of traditional Jewish belief and its disastrous implications for the men and women who have come to live in Israel, acting out of their belief in either Zionism or Judaism (or both). ``There is no way back,'' Oz solemnly intones early on, from the tormented contradictions that have made such a collapse inevitable. Following a general introductory essay, originally delivered as a speech in honor of the older author, Oz offers essays on ``Tehilah,'' one of Agnon's most poignant stories, and on the novels A Simple Story and Only Yesterday (whose first Englishlanguage translation is being published simultaneously with this volume). Oz writes with a simplicity, clarity, and passion that are all too often missing from academic literary criticism these days. Unfortunately, as the author himself acknowledges, these essays are meant to be read in tandem with the works they analyze and, for those unfamiliar with the Agnon oeuvre, they will often be baffling, even infuriatingly so. Like her work on Only Yesterday (see p.316), Harshav's translation is exemplary.

A highly intelligent book, but one destined for Oz completeists and Agnon scholars.

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-691-03692-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2000

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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