By Berris, Anthony; Brenner, Joseph Ḥayyim; Shapira, Anita
In a nutshell, Brenner's lifestyles tale encompasses the iteration that made "the nice bounce" from Imperial Russia's faded of payment to the metropolitan facilities of modernity, and from conventional Jewish ideals and lifestyle to secularism and existentialism. In his writing he experimented with language and shape, yet continually trying to painting existence realistically. A hugely acerbic critic of Jewish society, Brenner was once relentless in portraying the vices of either Jewish public existence and person Jews. such a lot of his contemporaries not just permitted his critique, yet sought after him for his forthrightness and took it as proof of his honesty and veracity.
Renowned writer and historian Anita Shapira's new biography illuminates Brenner's lifestyles and occasions, and his relationships with best cultural leaders similar to Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon, Hayim Nahman Bialik, Israel's nationwide Poet, and so forth. Undermining the approved myths approximately his lifestyles and his loss of life, his melancholy, his kinfolk with writers, ladies, and men—including the query of his homoeroticism—this new biography examines Brenner's existence in all its complexity and contradiction.
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Extra info for Yosef Haim Brenner : a life
The petty squabbles of the Jews in the shtetl, the intrigues between the religious elite and people with vested economic interests, the greed, and the struggle for existence are all described in realistic form. Brenner highlights class contrasts between rich employers and laborers and exposes the deprivation of the unfortunates. His women are mostly capable, whereas the men are weak and unable to provide for themselves and their families. The descriptions are filled with social pathos and much compassion.
In the sphere of Zionistsocialist ideas, which had just begun to take shape, nonproletarization theory appeared. From this perspective the poor Jewish masses were unable to move from their state of lumpenproletariat to the ranks of the proletariat because of the hostility of employers and non-Jewish workers. When the revolution came, they would be caught between the proletarian Scylla and the capitalist Charybdis. In other words, normalization of Jewish existence and its adaptation to the general course of history was impossible in the Diaspora.
In the final accounting, however, they were men of literature and education, not of action, and these were the fields in which they could make a contribution. In this letter Brenner produces the slogan “Long live magnificent and constructive labor for human happiness,” to which, for dramatic effect, he added three exclamation marks. This was not a general, universal call. In the human perspective that he depicts in this letter, there are only Jews. When speaking of commitment to action, Brenner does not cross the borderline of Jewish nationalism.