NOT OF THIS TIME, NOT OF THIS PLACE by Yehuda Amichai

NOT OF THIS TIME, NOT OF THIS PLACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The central character of this first novel by an Israeli poet is a German-Jewish immigrant, now a successful Israeli archaeologist. His life appears well ordered until it is predicted at a party that he will spend the coming summer in two ways, simultaneously: having a love affair in Jerusalem and returning to his native town in Germany on a mission in vengeance. The author then relates his story in the first and third person and in the past and present as ""Joel"" sleepwalks through an affair with an American doctor in his adopted city and futilely seeks out the accessories to the murder of his childhood love, a victim of the mass extermination during the war. At one point Joel says ""in dreams people are both here and there."" Much of the book's material has a dreamlike quality--which brings to mind film sequences of Antonioni, of spiritually desolate characters wandering through the landscapes of memory. Evidently this is no accident as the author drops various clues about his indebtedness to films; indeed one of his characters is a film director. Unfortunately most of this exerts the expected tenuous hold on the reader--haunting in parts but only vaguely remembered.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1968
Publisher: Harper & Row