Sunday, July 5, 2015 Tammuz 18, 5775
How to survive in the postwar world
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The appearance of György Dalos' tragicomic short novel, The Circumcision , released recently in paperback by the enterprising English publisher Marion Boyars, calls to mind a simple but profound fact: Of a certain period of 20th-century history, we know very little. I am speaking of the period from the end of World War II until the fall of the Berlin...
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Powerful words of poetry
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A few months back, I initiated a series of articles about Dryad Press, a small, independent venture out of Takoma Park, Md., kept afloat almost singlehandedly by Merrill Leffler, himself a poet and critic of note. The first Dryad title I discussed was 1111 Days in My Life Plus Four , primarily a diary begun by Ephraim F. Sten when...
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The Jewish Publication Society is tiny in comparison to publishing powerhouses like Random House and Yale University Press. Indeed, it released just eight new titles last year. That makes the fact that JPS beat out nearly every other publisher in the 2006 National Jewish Book Awards all the more remarkable. The honors, which were doled out earlier this month, named...
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When Marthe Cohn acknowledged to a sold-out audience Sunday morning that she made an "unlikely spy," she wasn't kidding. At 4 feet, 7 inches, the 86-year-old Jewish grandmother hardly looks like the James Bond-type. But during World War II, Cohn, then in her 20s, worked as an undercover agent with French intelligence. Speaking in a heavy French accent, Cohn relayed...
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Bright romance in a dark time
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"This is the saddest story I've ever heard." That's a sentence the literary-minded may recognize as the first line of Ford Maddox Ford's most famous work of fiction The Good Soldier . He meant the phrase to be taken as bitterly ironic, especially once the reader reaches the finale of the novel, then thinks back to the innocent beginnings of...
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