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The Singer on the Shore: Essays 1991 - 2004

Gabriel Josipovici

Cover Picture of The Singer on the Shore: Essays 1991 - 2004
RRP: GBP£ 18.95
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857548 44 0
Categories: 21st Century, Jewish
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: March 2006
216 x 135 x 27 mm
224 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  • The novelist Gabriel Josipovici's new book of essays ranges from writings on the Bible, Shakespeare, Kafka, Borges and the Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld to considerations of Rembrandt's self-portraits, death in Tristram Shandy, and what Kierkegaard has to tell us about the writing of fiction. From the title piece, which examines the relationship between artists' works and their beliefs, to the concluding meditations on memory and the Holocaust, The Singer on the Shore is unified by the twin themes of Jewish experience, with its consciousness of exile and the time-bound nature of human activity, and of the role of the work of art as a toy, to be played with and dreamed about.

    Josipovici's explorations are informed by his own experience as a novelist. He is thus both authoritative and undogmatic. This volume, like a book of poems, rewards repeated reading: it not only illuminates the topics with which it deals, it also raises the large question of the place of art in life and of the possibilities open to art today.
    Preface

    The Bible Open and Closed
    Vibrant Spaces
    Singing a New Song
    The Opinion of Pythagoras
    I Dream of Toys
    In Time: Rembrandt's Self-Portraits
    Escape Literature: Tristram Shandy's Journey Through France
    Dejection
    Kierkegaard and the Novel
    Kafka's Children
    The Wooden Stair
    Listening to the Voice in Four Quartets
    Borges and the Plain Sense of Things
    Aharon Appelfeld: Three Novels and a Tribute
    Andrzej Jackowski: Reveries of Dispossession
    The Singer on the Shore
    Memory: Too Little/Too Much
    This Is Not Your Rest
    Writing, Reading and the Study of Literature

    Acknowledgements
    Index

    Gabriel Josipovici was born in Nice in 1940 of Russo-Italian, Romano-Levantine parents. He lived in Egypt from 1945 to 1956, when he came to Britain. He read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating with a First in 1961. From 1963 to 1998 he taught at the University of Sussex. He ... read more
     'Gabriel Josipovici is a deeply perceptive critic, always rewarding with a wide range of reference. The Singer on the Shore is a beautifully written and enjoyable book.'
    Dame Muriel Spark
     'Gabriel Josipovici is a deeply perceptive critic, always rewarding with a wide range of reference. The Singer on the Shore is a beautifully written and enjoyable book.'
    Dame Muriel Spark
    Praise for Gabriel Josipovici  'Concealed in this wry interview is an exhilarating "world tour" of music, and how it comes to be created. Music aficionados will recognise Infinity's central figure with delight; newcomers will learn all they need, and more, about an extraordinary composer, and the anguished musical era - the twentieth century - in which he lived and worked.'
    Judith Weir
     'A tour de force of straightfaced high-culture lunacy ... very funny, deeply serious, at once scathing about the sublime preposterousness of modernism and profoundly admiring of it. Infinity is that rare thing - a novel about a creative genius in whose artistry you are made to believe, and who, for all his monstrous egoism and crackpot theorising, you come to care about and finally applaud.'
    Howard Jacobson
     'A Doctor Faustus for our time. Like Thomas Mann's great novel, Infinity shows how a composer's times are reflected in the creative process of composing, and has the novel's structure itself parallel the composer's aesthetic. Books as insightful as these into the composer's world are rare indeed.'
    Jonathan Harvey
    'Josipovici is one of the UK's most distinguished and fearless writers... [Infinity] is a charming, sexy, modern and scholarly novel - an unusual mix but all the better for it.'
    Deborah Levy, Jewish Quarterly
    'Gabriel Josipovici's Infinity (Carcanet, £12.95) is a wondrous Mobius strip of a narrative that turns ideas of biography, memory and the making of art into a story that one reads with rapt attention, in one sitting.'
    Kirsty Gunn, Scotsman Books of the Year 2012
     'Gabriel Josipovici is a deeply perceptive critic, always rewarding with a wide range of reference. The Singer on the Shore is a beautifully written and enjoyable book.'
    Dame Muriel Spark
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