TWO TALES by S. Y. Agnon


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The first major work of Agnon's to appear in English translation since 1935, these two tales take on a classic dimension and depth. Their ambience is mystic, metaphysical, emanating the Hebrew heritage. The Betrothed advances in a meditative, methodical manner appropriate to the abstracted hero of the tale, Dr. Jacob Rechnitz, who comes from Austria to Jaffa and is called to New York for his work with the sea. There is the quality of dream too in the ""seven planets"" who walk by the sea together-- he with six girls who admire him, but who are ultimately routed by the woman with whom he has renewed his childhood marriage vows. The second tale moves even further into mystery, as the bedridden wife of Gamzu, Gemulah, responds to the call of the moon and the talismans her husband has accidentally sold to the scholar Ginath --and both come to their common destiny, a common death. The atmosphere of fantasy hovers over these haunting Hebraic stories, which will reach out beyond the purely Jewish market to those fascinated by Kafka and Chagall.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1965
Publisher: Schocken Books