Monday, January 31, 2011

Finished: "Four Stories" by Etgar Keret

Finished: Four Stories by Etgar Keret, 2010, 9780815681564.

This was a disappointment. I ordered this because it is a 2010 title and then find out it only has 33 pages including the bib., bio., and a talk by Keret. I like the stories fine, I really enjoy Keret's work, but I was hoping for more of it.

This was from a visit Keret made to Syracuse U. to deliver a lecture and read some stories aloud. Keret was invited - presumably - by the Judaic Studies people since they published the book. His lecture is transcribed and has some interesting comments. He was asked to speak as a writer in relation to being a second generation kid of the Holocaust. Both his parents were in Poland and Germany through the war. Dirty, filthy, stinking, rotten nazis. It annoys me greatly that the spellchecker wants to capitalize nazi. Screw that.

Keret's story selection highlights some things he felt when growing up. One story has a young boy who has always learned to boycott Germany. He parents return from Europe with some fancy German sneakers. The boy has always learned that German products " were made out of the bones and skin and flesh of dead Jews." He takes this literally and thinks his shoes are made of his grandfather.

I'll have to hunt better for Keret's work and just ILL some stuff. According to his lecture he is popular in Poland and Germany. The bib lists several British publications but he also works with Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

UC - Santa Cruz Reader:

1. I don't have much to say about this book or the other Keret book I read. I rarely delve into literary themes and theory. One reason I like Keret's work is his unique (to me) fantasy elements. I like the commonplace treatment Keret gives to bizarre incidents. I still need to ILL some of his other English language stuff.
2. I give much praise to his translators.

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