Until the Dawn`s Light

Until the Dawn`s Light by Aaron Appelfeld

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From the award-winning, internationally acclaimed writer (“One of the best novelists alive” —Irving Howe): a Jewish woman marries a gentile laborer in turn-of-the-century Austria, with disastrous results.

A high school honor student bound for university and a career as a mathematician, Blanca lives with her parents in a small town in Austria in the early years of the twentieth century. At school one day she meets Adolf, who comes from a family of peasant laborers. Tall and sturdy, plainspoken and uncomplicated, Adolf is unlike anyone Blanca has ever met. And Adolf is awestruck by beautiful, brilliant Blanca — even though she is Jewish. When Blanca is asked by school administrators to tutor Adolf, the inevitable happens: they fall in love. And when Adolf asks her to marry him, Blanca abandons her plans to attend university, converts to Christianity, and leaves her family, her friends, and her old life behind.

Almost immediately, things begin to go horribly wrong. Told in a series of flashbacks as Blanca and her son flee from their town with the police in hot pursuit, the tragic story of Blanca’s life with Adolf recalls a time and place that are no more but that powerfully reverberate in collective memory.

184 pages, published in
Aaron Appelfeld

A book by Aaron Appelfeld

Aharon Appelfeld ( Aharon Appelfeld ) Israeli writer. Writes in Hebrew. Was born in 1932 in Chernivtsi. In Israel since 1947; graduated from Jerusalem University. He began publishing in 1959.

Since 1979, he taught Hebrew literature at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and since 1995 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During World War II, Appelfeld wandered across Transnistria, Bessarabia, Bukovina, hiding from the Romanian authorities, and after the war he went through camps for displaced persons. The trauma of this period left an indelible mark on all of his work. The first collection of his stories "Auchan" ("Smoke", 1959) was warmly received by critics. The heroes of the stories who survived the Holocaust and arrived in Eretz Yisrael are unable to get rid of the horrors of the past that mercilessly haunt them and cannot find a common language with the new environment. Appelfeld returns to this theme in some subsequent works, for example, in the novels "Ha-`or v...

Until the Dawn`s Light PDF

Aharon Appelfeld ( Aharon Appelfeld ) Israeli writer. Writes in Hebrew. Was born in 1932 in Chernivtsi. In Israel since 1947; graduated from Jerusalem University. He began publishing in 1959. Since 1979, he taught Hebrew literature at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and since 1995 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During World War II, Appelfeld wandered across Transnistria, Bessarabia, Bukovina, hiding from the Romanian authorities, and after the war he went through camps for displaced persons. The trauma of this period left an indelible mark on all of his work. The first collection of his stories "Auchan" ("Smoke", 1959) was warmly received by critics. The heroes of the stories who survived the Holocaust and arrived in Eretz Yisrael are unable to get rid of the horrors of the past that mercilessly haunt them and cannot find a common language with the new environment. Appelfeld returns to this theme in some subsequent works, for example, in the novels "Ha-`or ve-ha-kutonet" ("Skin and Shirt", 1971) and "Mihvat ha-or" ("The Burn of Light", 1980) ... The main theme of Appelfeld`s works is the monstrous incomprehensibility of the Holocaust. In the collections "Be-komat karka" ("In the basement", 1968), "Adney ha-nahar" ("Sleepers of the river", 1971), "Ke-mea edim" ("How a hundred witnesses", 1964), "Ba -gai ha-poreah "(" In the blossoming valley ", 1964) and" Shanim ve-sha`ot "(" Years and Hours ", 1975) are narrated in an impressionistic manner. The allegedly indifferent narrator captures the origins of the phenomenon in short phrases and unfolds a terrible picture of the Catastrophe, all the more terrible since it is depicted in restrained tones. The picture develops into a universal symbol that embodies the apocalyptic concept of the inevitability of the decline of civilization. Many stories are devoted to the topic of human survival in the camps and forests of Eastern and Central Europe during the Nazi genocide. There is a fierce internal struggle to preserve the human appearance in the underworld, which dictates its own perverted moral norms. Appelfeld approached the same topic but from the other side in the novel "Katerina" (1989). The Bukovina peasant woman, on whose behalf the story is being told, lives among the Jews. The Jewish way of thinking, the idea of ​​the family and family ties, the reaction of Jews to what is happening around are conveyed through the perception of a woman who is close to the Jews physically and spiritually and at the same time is separated from them by belonging to another nation, the atmosphere and spirit of Christian folk superstitions absorbed by her since childhood. Katerina spent many years in prison, where she ended up for killing the murderer of her son, who had been taken care of by a Jew. In the story of Katerina, the life of Jews before and during the war appears as a mass march towards their own death. This procession in many of Appelfeld`s works is not only the result of the action of formidable forces from the outside and not only physical genocide, but also the internal striving of the assimilated Jewry of Europe for the spiritual suicide of the nation. The novels "Ke-ishon ha-`ain" ("Like the apple of an eye", 1972), "Badenheim ir ha-nofesh" ("Badenheim is a resort town", 1974), the novels "Tor ha-plaot" ( "Time of Miracles", 1978, Russian translation - Jer., "Library-Alia", 1984) and "Timion" ("The Abyss", 1993). Appelfeld`s prose presents the reader with a kind of process of entropy growth that takes place in two enchanted concentric circles - the universal and the Jewish, which rotate in opposite directions. In Appelfeld`s last novel Laish (1984), a group of Jewish refugees who have not found refuge in Europe travel to Jerusalem and, after many hardships, reach Turkey, where all the surviving refugees finally buy tickets for a steamer to leave the coast of Turkey. to Eretz Yisrael. Whether this means that the group of martyrs will reach the coveted shores and begin a new, brighter life in Jerusalem, the reader does not know. Some critics suggest that in Laish, Appelfeld first has a hint of an escape from hopelessness. Appelfeld`s work occupies a prominent place in the world literature about the Holocaust. His works have been translated into many European languages. He is the recipient of many literary prizes in Israel and abroad, including the State Prize of Israel (1983) and Commonwealths Avord, USA (1984). http://www.eleven.co.il/article/10256