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The Messiah of Stockholm by Cynthia Ozick
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The Messiah of Stockholm (1987)

by Cynthia Ozick

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213254,782 (3.89)14
Recently added byDinoReader, Bookman1954, proustitute, jasbro, private library, MrPatch, MichaelCO, sawtooth

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I usually lean more towards 'popular' than 'literary' fiction, or however you want to define it, but this book held some interest for me. I've been interested at various times in Swedish mythology, and I've gone through cycles of extreme Slavophilia (at times pro-Polish in nature) as well. So it was somewhat interesting for me to hear this story of Northern Europeans bitterly and guiltlessly struggling against the Nazis-- shades of "The Sound of Music". (Although incidentally I know that not only those of European stock like that film.) Or, as it happens, a rather happily somewhat less violent and dramatic story of the orphan of a (murdered) Polish writer tramping about bookstores in Stockholm looking for the lost gems in the Original Polish. (A rather happy phrase, since I find Poles to be very sensible and likeable people, and they deserve a bit more literary nonsense to boast about.) Anyway, literary fiction has its drawbacks, but this tale is at least clear rather than muddled or hypercomplicated, even if it does inevitably find itself at times forced to explain the darker, and sometimes hopelessly muddled, side of life.

At any rate, it was done with great competence.

(8/10) ( )
  fearless2012 | Aug 17, 2013 |
00002802
  cavlibrary | Jun 3, 2013 |
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Mijn vader was onuitputtelijk in de glorificatie van dit zo bijzondere element, dat materie heet. 'Dode materie bestaat niet,' leerde hij, 'haar doodsheid is alleen maar de schijn waarachter zich onbekende vormen van leven verbergen. De scala van deze vormen is oneindig groot, het aantal schakeringen en nuances ontelbaar. Demiurgos was in het bezit van belangrijke en interessante scheppingsrecepten. Met behulp daarvan schiep hij een veelheid van typen die zich op eigen kracht blijven vernieuwen. Het is onmogelijk te zeggen of deze recepten ooit gereconstrueerd zullen worden. Maar dat is ook niet nodig, omdat, zelfs als deze klassieke methoden van creëren voor eens en voor altijd ontoegankelijk blijken, bepaalde illegale methoden overblijven, namelijk het oneindig grote aantal ongeoorloofde ketterse methoden.'

Bruno Schulz, Het Traktaat over de Mannequins of: Het Tweede Scheppingsboek
Uit: De kaneelwinkels (vertaling Gerard Rasch)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394756940, Paperback)

A small group of Jews weave a web of intrigue and fantasy around a book reviewer's contention that he is the son of Borus Schultz, the legendary Polish writer killed by the Nazis before his magnum opus, THE MESSIAH, could be brought to light.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:47 -0400)

Lars, orphaned in Poland during World War II and brought up in Sweden by a begrudging foster family, becomes obsessed with the notion that he is the son of a legendary Polish writer killed by the Nazis.

» see all 2 descriptions

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