Read The Yellow Wind: With a New Afterword by the Author by David Grossman Free Online
Book Title: The Yellow Wind: With a New Afterword by the Author|
The author of the book: David Grossman
Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of issue: March 1st 1988
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.18 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1763 times
Reader ratings: 4.9
ISBN 13: 9780374293451
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This is a powerful book written by an apparently open-minded Israeli author, about the shocking day to day facts of the Palestinians' existence in the occupied territories. Grossman seems genuinely moved, even appalled, at some of these facts, which he reports in a way that suggests "yes, I knew it was bad, but I never imagined ...". He seems moved, he seems sympathetic, he seems to sense that a wrong, perhaps a great wrong, is being done here ...
And then one reaches, late in the book, the chapter The Terrorist's Father. Grossman relates the story of a man (Mohammed) living in the occupied territories, whose son (Ali) participated in the brutal murder of two Israeli couples. After many months the son is apprehended and killed. But before he is apprehended the security forces arrest and interrogate the father, humiliate, degrade and terrify the father's family, all the while insisting that the father knows where the son is hiding. Nothing in the story as Grossman relates it indicates that the father actually had any knowledge of where the son was, it is stated that the authorities knew well that the father and son were estranged and seldom saw one another.
But in the occupied territories, the sins of the son are visited upon the head of the father. One day, after the son has been dispatched, but before the father even knows of this, soldiers arrive at his house (he isn't there) and inform his wife that she has fifteen minutes to get her belongings and daughters out of the house. Then it is bulldozed. When the father returns, he is again taken into custody, this time beaten and tortured - now, to find out where his (dead) son was during the time they couldn't find him! The man is not allowed to rebuild or indeed even to own a house again, he has no job, to support his family he has become a beggar.
Grossman's reaction to all this? "One's heart does not go out to Mohammed Al-Kal'ilah, who raised such a son ... he arouses no sympathy." Grossman's only sympathy is for the murder victims, the Israelis. As he said earlier in this narrativeWhen I learned ... what his son had actually done, I felt that I didn't want to hear the rest of the story from the father. I remembered the innocent, naive, and optimistic faces of the murdered couples, and I could not find in myself any sympathy at all for Ali Al-Kal'ilah's father, lamenting his son and demanding that he be allowed to rebuild his destroyed house.Grossman senses that his lack of compassion for the father here is symptomatic of the psychic wall that prevents the Israelis from having any understanding of what they are doing to the people of the occupied territories. He seems confused and perhaps even ashamed about his inability to have any compassion whatsoever for Mohammed. The most he can say is "I chose this story because it is a sort of bitter microcosm of the big story - of two nations' life together. One that brings to life the simple misery in which we live."
One can only add, first, that his reference to "two nations" is bitterly ironical, and second, that the misery of which he speaks is not perhaps so simple, and is almost all on one side of the equation.
In the end, I cannot help but feel that Grossman is a good man, but a good man who is squeezed into a mental and emotional straightjacket by what he refers to as "the entire Israeli ethos". He has written a profoundly sad and upsetting book.
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Leading Israeli novelist David Grossman (b. 1954, Jerusalem) studied philosophy and drama at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and later worked as an editor and broadcaster at Israel Radio. Grossman has written seven novels, a play, a number of short stories and novellas, and a number of books for children and youth. He has also published several books of non-fiction, including interviews with Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Among Grossman`s many literary awards: the Valumbrosa Prize (Italy), the Eliette von Karajan Prize (Austria), the Nelly Sachs Prize (1991), the Premio Grinzane and the Premio Mondelo for The Zig-Zag Kid (Italy, 1996), the Vittorio de Sica Prize (Italy), the Juliet Club Prize, the Marsh Award for Children`s Literature in Translation (UK, 1998), the Buxtehude Bulle (Germany, 2001), the Sapir Prize for Someone to Run With (2001), the Bialik Prize (2004), the Koret Jewish Book Award (USA, 2006), the Premio per la Pace e l`Azione Umanitaria 2006 (City of Rome/Italy), Onorificenza della Stella Solidarita Italiana 2007, Premio Ischia - International Award for Journalism 2007, the Geschwister Scholl Prize (Germany), the Emet Prize (Israel, 2007)and the Albatross Prize (Germany, 2009). He has also been awarded the Chevalier de l`Ordre des Arts et Belles Lettres (France, 1998) and an Honorary Doctorate by Florence University (2008). In 2007, his novels The Book of Internal Grammar and See Under: Love were named among the ten most important books since the creation of the State of Israel. His books have been translated into over 25 languages.
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