Female readers mourn the death of Israeli writer, playwright and academic in Tel Aviv at the age of 85 Abraham “Boolie” Yehoshua. The great writer was born in Jerusalem on December 9, 1936 and was very attached to Italy. For 56 years he was married to the psychoanalyst Rivkadied in 2016. The couple has a daughter, two sons and six grandchildren.
He taught Comparative literature And Hebrew literatureand during his long career he has also taught abroad, at Harvard, Chicago and Princeton Universities and more.
Yehoshua, who lived in Paris from 1963 to 1967, where he taught, also held the position of Secretary-General of the World Union of Jewish Students in the French capital.
And we come to his books that have made them one of the most important contemporary Israeli writers, and which in Italy was first published by Giuntina and later by Einaudi. Among his works, The Lover, A Late Divorce, Five Seasons, Mr. Mani, Return from India, Journey to the End of the Millennium, The Freed Bride, The Human Resources Manager, Friendly Fire, The Lost Scene, The Appearence, The Tunnel And The only daughter.
“An author of themes, of topics”
So he defined himself in a fine interview with the site Mangialibri of 2017: “A writer is like a film director. He has to think about the dialogues, the actors, the setting, the decor, the sound, the light, the costumes, everything that helps to create a story. But what story should I tell? In my opinion, novelists fall into two categories: those who talk about a particular world, who explore and re-explore it, and those who tackle different themes each time. I am especially a writer of themes, of topics. I find a topic that fascinates me and I build a story around it. Take, for example, William Faulkner: a great writer, perhaps the most important American writer of the twentieth century. Faulkner has always written only about a limited place, a limited time: over and over again, where the characters go from one novel to another. Faulkner is therefore a writer of worlds. The world he explores is one, always the same, albeit from different angles. And then to take another example Aharon Appelfeld, who centers all his books on the world of the Shoah, each time with different nuances, but always the same world. We theme writers work differently – we are neither better nor worse at it, mind you: we are just different. Am I interested in the subject of European Jews in the Middle Ages? I’m writing about that. Am I curious about the relationships between people that can be created in a garage in Jerusalem? I’m writing about that. A topic attracts me and I work on it and it changes every time. “
The wise use of Hebrew
On Repubblica.it Wlodek Goldkorn Remember: “It has been said that no one like him knew how to use words in Hebrew. His mastery of language was close to perfection, as was the architecture of the novels. At the start, he worked for weeks, sometimes months, because the first pages were supposed to be the DNA of the whole story. When this was done, the main characters got a certain autonomy from the author … ”.
The Israeli-Palestinian question
Guest at the Mantua Literature Festival in 2019, presenting his book where the main character, Zvi, suffers from senile dementiaconnected with Israeli-Palestinian issue: “I chose dementia as a disease for my Zvi. Dementia because it’s a terrible thing, a disaster, how can we not say that? What I was trying to say a message I address to both Israelis and Palestinians: we must begin to forget, we must begin to forget. There is this cult for us Jews, of memory, that makes us constantly dig up the memory of the Shoah, to always talk about anti-Semitism and what it did to us, to dig and rediscover the wounds of the past. It is enough! (…). To the Palestinians, I say the same thing. You are there, in Gaza, holding demonstrations and proclaiming that you want to return to your homes, I understand, your parents’ home where you grew up is ten kilometers away … but there is a wall that separates you, you can no longer go back. You were expelled at the time of the great Palestinian catastrophe. Too much. Memory. Remembering too much is becoming dangerous for our two peoples, see, yes, let’s see: The world is evolving at a dizzying rate, the challenges we face are numerous, we have to adapt, adapt. We can not always just remember with our heads turned back. The Jews have been stuck in their memory to the point that in Israel they have no longer been able to see the real reality and threats from every day, so have the Palestinians … ”.