On a relaxing Sunday, we are delighted to present you
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Shmuel Yosef Agnon (July 17, 1888 – February 17, 1970) was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction.
In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon (ש”י עגנון).
In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.
Agnon was born in Polish Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and later immigrated to Mandatory Palestine, and died in Jerusalem, Israel.
His works deal with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world. They also attempt to recapture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). In a wider context, he also contributed to broadening the characteristic conception of the narrator’s role in literature. Agnon shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Nelly Sachs in 1966.
We would like to have a closer look at one of his works
Not a Simple Story
Not a Simple Story presents the modern Hebrew writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon in a new light
—as an artist cum thinker whose novels and short stories manifest a deep understanding of the social and political crisis at the heart of modern Jewish life.
Based on a close reading of Agnon’s seminal novel A Simple Story, the book argues that Agnon was essentially a Jewish nationalist and secular modernist whose critical portrait of modern Jewish life seeks not to demean Jews but to hold them to a higher standard.
By demonstrating all that Jewish society lacks, Agnon implicitly shows what it needs for it to thrive—
a return to such lost notions as Jewish self-respect, heroism, and romantic love.
We wish you an inspiring and relaxing Sunday. Share your reading list with us using today’s hashtag #LoveBooks.