I discovered Edmond Jabès’ The Book of Questions serendipitously. The son of wealthy Egyptian Jews, Jabès’ earliest literary friendships were with Max Jacob, Paul Eluard, and Rene Char.
The Book of Questions is the story of two young lovers during the Nazi deportations; not using any traditional narrative, it speaks of Jewishness, silence, dispossession, and writing.
“There seems nothing strange about the fact that ancient rabbis can converse with a contemporary writer, that images of stunning beauty can stand beside descriptions of the greatest devastation, or that the visionary and the commonplace can co-exist on the same page. From the very beginning, when the reader encounters the writer at the threshold of the book, we know that we are entering a space unlike any other.” - Paul Auster
“In the last ten years nothing of interest has been written in France that does not have its precedent somewhere in the texts of Jabès.” - Jacques Derrida, 1972
Few read him, more should.
Submitted by aperfectcommotion.
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