Monday, May 14, 2007

amos oz

Amos Oz is the most important Israeli writer, known for his novels, essays, short story collections, and also for his open pacifism. “The Same Sea” was one of last year favorites (although it came out in 2003?). This is a rare ‘novel’ that defies classification. In fact one could even wonder if it is a novel at all. Some ‘chapters’ are extremely descriptive making the narration a sequence of events, others are read and structured as poems, and you feel you would like to read them aloud. In the novel Oz takes few characters, a distorted family (he has said that the family is the most inspiring ‘topic’ and ‘symbol’ of our culture): Albert Danon, in his sixties is mourning his wife’s death, Nadia (remembered with great emotion—there’s a recurrent image of her sewing a napkin that’s left unfinished by her death), and their son, Rico, spending time in the Tibet, where he intends to find himself. This is the excuse Oz’s uses to accomplish his metaphor.
He says:
“One of the things I wanted to introduce in The Same Sea beyond transcending the conflict, is the fact that deep down below all our secrets are the same. The fact that somewhere beyond race and religion and ideology and all other great dividers, the insecure, timid, hoping, craving and trembling self is very often very close to the next insecure, timid, craving, hoping, fearing, terrified self. In a sense, all our secrets are the same. That's what I wanted to convey through The Same Sea in a playful way”.
“I wrote it, by the way -- and this what I am going to say now may have a sort of meta-political significance. It is a novel that erases, deliberately, every boundary. It erases the line between prose and poetry. It erases the line between storytelling, fiction and confession, because much of it is very personal, extremely autobiographical, directly without any disguise”.
For an interesting interview with Amos Oz, see

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