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Shmuel Y. Agnon

1888 - 1970

Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes (שמואל יוסף עגנון), original name of Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970), was a Jewish writer, the most fertile among novelists, short story writers and anthologists of Israel . Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966 , becoming the first Israeli to receive this award, considered one of the most representative writers of modern Hebrew literature.

Agnon was born in 1888 in Buczacz ( Galicia ) where his father was a rabbi . He received no formal education, but his father learned the aggadah and mother German literature. When he was eight he began writing in Hebrew and Yiddish , and at the age of 15 he published his first poem in Yiddish. In the following years began publishing regularly and wrote 70 poems in those languages. In the year of 1909 at the age of 21 years decided to settle in Palestine attracted by the ideal Zionist , where he lived in Yafo ( Jaffa ) and adopted a secular way of life. Shortly thereafter, however, return to Jewish tradition and remained an observant Jew for the rest of his life.

His first short story, Agunot ( "abandoned wives" ) was published in Palestine in 1908 under the name of Agnon, resembling the title of the story, and that became his official name after that.

In 1913 , the World War I forced him to return to Europe, leaving Israel to settle in Germany , where he lived for eleven years. The Zionist youth liked its style combining traditional and modern. While in Germany he met Salman Schocken, a wealthy businessman, who became his admirer and benefactor. With your help, Agnon was able to stop worrying about your personal economy enabled him to write what he wanted, however, this period of tranquility and happiness ended when, on June 6 of 1924 ended with a fire all his manuscripts. Agnon interpreted this as a bad omen and decided to return to Israel. His return to Jerusalem was not entirely pleased, for five years after a new setback finish undermining his writings and his personal library: Arab riots of the year 1929 .

In 1932 is recognized as one of the central figures of modern Hebrew literature, he published the first edition of his selected works, including The Wedding Pavilion .

His texts have the characteristic of combining the new with the old, allowing the reader often able to distinguish where reality begins and where it ends fantasy. His characters speak for themselves in an attempt to understand and understand their surroundings. In guest for one night , an anonymous narrator visits his hometown in Galicia after an absence of many years. The factual basis of the story was her own perspectives on his life in Buczacz in 1930 . The novel reflects the desperation of the Jewish world during this time.

Temol Shilshom ( "Yesterday and the day before" ), is considered the greatest novel of Agnon. It is a powerful description of Palestine in the days of the second Aliyah , but his grief reflects the period in which it was written, the years of the Holocaust Jew. Many of his books are about Buczacz, while others are popular rabbinic collections.

Agnon received many awards during his lifetime, including the Israel Prize in 1954 and 1958 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966 , the first awarded to a Hebrew writer. The year 1924 he settled in Jerusalem, Talpiot district, where he lived until his death on February 17 of 1970 , due to heart failure.

The complete works of Joseph Agnon were released the year 1964 in Jerusalem and contain eight volumes:

Haknassat Kalla (the widow's dowry)
Elou va-elou (This and that)
Kappot Al-Hamanoul (above the threshold)
Oréah laloun cream (The host of the night)
Tmol silshom (this happened yesterday)
Samouk venire (Close and visible)
Ad Hena (So far)
Haésh vehaétsim (The fire and wood)

In addition to these volumes, Agnon commented traditional texts related to the great feasts of the year Jew .


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