Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966 and the undisputed master of the Hebrew novel, still remains largely an unknown or even misunderstood figure. Agnon's innovation was to construct an intricate dialectic between Hebrew tradition and the modern predicament, thereby producing a very distinctive mode of modernist narrative. Agnon deployed a technique of rich allusiveness drawn from traditional Hebrew lore and language using free-association, especially by means of imaginative dream-sequences designed to unveil the ambivalent but fateful meanings in the apparently inconsequential events and thoughts which determine the lives of his characters.This book explores the methods and materials of Agnon's art so as to provide the English reader with insight into his unique fictional world, and it proposes a fresh approach to the reading of Agnon which will also be of interest to those familiar with his work and the crucial literature on it.
About the Author
Nitza Ben-Dov, Ph.D. (1984), University of California, Berkeley, taught modern Hebrew literature at Princeton University and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa. She is the author of numerous articles on modern and traditional Hebrew literature.