Shmuel Yosef Agnon


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Agnon, Shmuel Yosef

 

Born 1888 in Buczacz, East Galicia. Jewish writer residing in Israel. Writes in Hebrew. Member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language; Nobel Prize laureate in 1966.

Agnon arrived in Palestine in 1909; his first work published there was the story “Forsaken Wives.” The novel The Bridal Canopy (1931) brought him fame. Its characters are poor but jolly folk who never despair. His novels A Sandy Knoll (1935) and Recently (1946–47), as well as such novellas as A Simple Story (1935) and In the Heart of the Seas (1935), are realistic and imbued with a fine psychological perception. Chapters from the Government’s Book is sharply satirical. A Guest for the Night and The Lady and the Peddler are full of wrath against the forces of reaction.

WORKS

Kol Sippurav, vols. 1–7. Jerusalem-Tel Aviv, 1960.
In Russian translation:
“Iz nedruga v druga.” In the collection Iskatel’zhemchuga. Moscow, 1966.

REFERENCE

Lichtenbaum, J. Ha-Sippur ha-Ivri. Tel Aviv, 1960.

A. I. RUBINSHTEIN

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The mention of one Nobel Prize Laureate--Isaac Bashevis Singer--brings me to another, that is, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, and to an inaccuracy worthy of clarification.
Hayyim Nahman Bialik and Shmuel Yosef Agnon are the two masters of Modern Hebrew Literature--Bialik in verse and Agnon in prose.
Yet even though both of these new novellas are so rich in allusions that every single word seems to find its referent in the Bible, the cabbalah, or the writings of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, or Franz Kafka--you don't have to be Gershom Scholem to enjoy them.