A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

By Amos Oz

Tragic, comedian, and completely sincere, this bestselling and seriously acclaimed new paintings by means of "one of Israel's such a lot proficient and prolific authors" (Helen Epstein, The ahead) is right now a family members saga and a mystical self-portrait of a author who witnessed the beginning of a country and lived via its turbulent history.

It is the tale of a boy starting to be up within the war-torn Jerusalem of the 40s and fifties, in a small condo crowded with books in twelve languages and relations talking approximately as many. the tale of a young person whose existence has been replaced endlessly by way of his mother's suicide whilst he used to be twelve years previous. the tale of a guy who leaves the limitations of his relatives and its neighborhood of dreamers, students, and failed businessmen to hitch a kibbutz, switch his identify, marry, have youngsters. the tale of a author who turns into an energetic player within the political lifetime of his state.

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And so they all changed to Russian. The pioneers lived beyond our horizon, in Galilee, Sharon, and the Valleys. Tough, warmhearted, though of course silent and thoughtful, young men, and strapping, straightforward, self-disciplined young women, who seemed to know and understand everything; they knew you and your shy confusion, yet they would treat you with affection, seriousness, and respect, treat you not like a child but like a man, albeit an undersized one. I pictured these pioneers as strong, serious, self-contained people, capable of sitting around in a circle and singing songs of heartrending longing, or songs of mockery, or outrageous songs of lust; or of dancing so wildly that they seemed to transcend the physical.

Who in Jerusalem could swim? Who had ever heard of swimming Jews? These were different genes. A mutation. " There was a special magic in the very name of Tel Aviv. As soon as I heard the word "Telaviv," I conjured up in my mind's eye a picture of a tough guy in a dark blue T-shirt, bronzed and broad-shouldered, a poet-worker-revolutionary, a man made without fear, the type they called a Hevreman, with a cap worn at a careless yet provocative angle on his curly hair, smoking Matusians, someone who was at home in the world: all day long he worked hard on the land, or with sand and mortar, in the evening he played the violin, at night he danced with girls or sang them soulful songs amid the sand dunes by the light of the full moon, and in the early hours he took a handgun or a sten out of its hiding place and stole away into the darkness to guard the houses and fields.

England stood even higher on their scale than France. As for America, there they were not so sure: after all, it was a country where people shot at Indians, held up mail trains, chased gold, and hunted girls. Europe for them was a forbidden promised land, a yearned-for landscape of belfries and squares paved with ancient flagstones, of trams and bridges and church spires, remote villages, spa towns, forests, and snow-covered meadows. Words like "cottage," "meadow," or "goose girl" excited and seduced me all through my childhood.

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