Saturday, January 07, 2006

What will happen when I put down the "Vogue"

This looks like something I should read.

Tangentially related: It occurred to me recently that, despite all this "Francophilic Zionism," my French-interests and Israel-interests have never totally overlapped. French literature and clothing appeal to me, while I prefer Israeli language and culture (and in "culture" I'm including heartthrob actors). While studying in Paris, there was a bit of overlap, whenever I would have falafel for dinner and a crepe for dessert, but this was mainly due to the thrill of not having to eat UChicago's dining hall food. It's not so much that I prefer French to Israeli clothes and books, or the way Hebrew sounds to the way French does (the latter seems so familiar at this point that I can't really say). It might be that I prefer Israeli to French actors. Mainly, though, this is about ignorance. But I'm on the case.

So for all my interest in Israel, aside from Operation Shylock, I couldn't think off-hand of any novels I'd read set there, at least not that I'd read recently, nor could I think of any books I'd read by Israeli writers. Op-eds, articles, essays, that sort of thing, but no fiction. With this in mind, I got Amos Oz's My Michael. Why Amos Oz? Because he was the subject of many of our first-year-Hebrew class test essays at Chicago, and because I'd already read a page or so of one of his books over someone's shoulder in the subway. Once I finish this book, I'm going to give it a try in Hebrew. Which will be slow-going, for sure, but it beats endlessly listening to the Ivri Lider album as a way to learn/remember the language.

1 comment:

M. Duss said...

I anvy anyone able to read Amos Oz in Hebrew, his prose is brilliant in English translation. I recommend "In The Land of Israel."