Kertesz: Kaddish for an Unborn Child

April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

The reading for April 14 is the book Kaddish For an Unborn Child. Lots to think about with regards to history, fate, individuality, etc.

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“The first word in this mesmerizing novel by the winner of the Nobel
Prize for Literature is “No.” It is how the novel’s narrator, a
middle-aged Hungarian-Jewish writer, answers an acquaintance who asks
him if he has a child. It is the answer he gave his wife (now ex-wife)
years earlier when she told him that she wanted one. The loss, longing
and regret that haunt the years between those two ‘no’s give rise to one
of the most eloquent meditations ever written on the Holocaust.

As Kertesz’s narrator addresses the child he couldn’t bear to bring into
the world he ushers readers into the labyrinth of his consciousness,
dramatizing the paradoxes attendant on surviving the catastrophe of
Auschwitz. Kaddish for the Unborn Child is a work of staggering power,
lit by flashes of perverse wit and fueled by the energy of its wholly
original voice.

“In his writing Imre Kertesz explores the possibility of continuing to
live and think as an individual in an era in which the subjection of
human beings to social forces has become increasingly complete. upholds
the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric
arbitrariness of history.”

—The Swedish Academy, awarding the Nobel
Prize in Literature 2002

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You are currently reading Kertesz: Kaddish for an Unborn Child at Austin Anarchist Study Group.

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