Burnt Books

Burnt Books

Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series

Rodger Kamenetz, acclaimed author of The Jew in the Lotus, has long been fascinated by the mystical tales of the Hasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. And for many years he has taught a course in Prague on Franz Kafka. The more he thought about their lives and writings, the more aware he became of unexpected connections between them. Kafka was a secular artist fascinated by Jewish mysticism, and Rabbi Nachman was a religious mystic who used storytelling to reach out to secular Jews. Both men died close to age forty of tuberculosis. Both invented new forms of storytelling that explore the search for meaning in an illogical, unjust world. Both gained prominence with the posthumous publication of their writing. And both left strict instructions at the end of their lives that their unpublished books be burnt.

Kamenetz takes his ideas on the road, traveling to Kafka’s birthplace in Prague and participating in the pilgrimage to Uman, the burial site of Rabbi Nachman visited by thousands of Jews every Jewish new year. He discusses the hallucinatory intensity of their visions and offers a rich analysis of Nachman’s and Kafka’s major works, revealing uncanny similarities in the inner lives of these two troubled and beloved figures, whose creative and religious struggles have much to teach us about the significant role played by the imagination in the Jewish spiritual experience.

Baker & Taylor
A dual portrait of Hasidic storyteller Rabbi Nachman and iconic writer Franz Kafka reveals unexpected parallels between their lives, tracing their respective writings about an illogical world and searches for spiritual meaning.

Blackwell Publishing
Rodger Kamenetz, acclaimed author of The Jew in the Lotus, has long been fascinated by the mystical tales of the Hasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. And for many years he has taught a course in Prague on Franz Kafka. The more he thought about their lives and writings, the more aware he became of unexpected connections between them. Kafka was a secular artist fascinated by Jewish mysticism, and Rabbi Nachman was a religious mystic who used storytelling to reach out to secular Jews. Both men died close to age forty of tuber-culosis. Both invented new forms of storytelling. that explore the search for meaning in an illogical, unjust world. Both gained prominence with the posthumous publication of their writing. And both left strict instructions at the end of their lives that their unpublished books be burnt.

Kamenetz takes his ideas on the road, traveling to Kafka's birthplace in Prague and participating in the pilgrimage to Uman, the burial site of Rabbi Nachman visited by thousands of Jews every Jewish new year. He discusses the hallucinatory intensity of their visions and offers a rich analysis of Nachman's and Kafka's major works, revealing uncanny similarities in the inner lives of these two troubled and beloved figures, whose creative and religious struggles have much to teach us about the significant role played by the imagination in the Jewish spiritual experience.

Baker
& Taylor

A dual portrait of venerated Hasidic storyteller Rabbi Nachman and iconic writer Franz Kafka reveals unexpected parallels between their abbreviated lives, tracing their respective writings about an illogical world and searches for spiritual meaning. By the National Jewish Book Award-winning author of The Jew in the Lotus.

Publisher: New York : Nextbook : Schocken, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9780805242577
Branch Call Number: 296.8332 KAMEN

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