Dr. Shmuel Schneider, former chair of the Department of Hebrew language and literature at Yeshiva College, has published a new book titled Existence and Memory in the Writings of Aharon Appelfeld, Yosef Chaim Brenner and Other Writings (Carmel, 2010). The anthology is a collection of essays, book reviews and interviews, and deals with one of the most debated topics in modern Jewish culture and modern Hebrew literature – the interaction between modern life in the last two centuries and the Jewish collective memory, particularly Jewish history and tradition.

The book discusses the topics as they are reflected in the writings of Aharon Appelfeld, one of the giants of twentieth century Israeli and world literature, and in the writings of Yosef Chaim Brenner, one of the most influential founders of the Israeli labor movement and of Israeli secular ideology and culture. Appelfeld stresses the importance of preserving Jewish memory, claiming that denial of memory undermines Jewish existence and creates a neurotic being. As a result, many critics call him “the great preserver of Jewish memory”.


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