Redeeming haim Hazaz.

Position:JAMES KUGEL

When the Israeli writer Haim Hazaz died in 1973, his reputation was so lofty in the world of modern Hebrew letters that one observer would write in the Jewish Book Annual, "He was one of Israel's most honored writers of fiction and one of her most influential thinkers." And yet today, who--aside from scholars of Israeli literary his-tory--is familiar with Hazaz and his work?

It is somewhat haunting to behold a once-renowned writer's fall into obscurity. For Israeli readers, Hazaz once stood at the center of the Jewish national conversation. The neglect of his work is impoverishing to the reader of Jewish literature because in the breadth of its geographic, historical and ethnographic...

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