Midrash Agnon: Out of the Historic Catastrophe (May 15, 22, 29)
As we head into the 50th anniversary of Agnon’s receiving the Nobel Prize, we will explore the themes he struck in his famous speech in Stockholm, working back to see how they reflected themes in his writings. Each week a different theme will be examined through the prism of a single short story. The cost of the course is $20. Paypal(https://www.paypal.com/webapps/hermes?token=9BS99976JE343613T&useraction=commit&rm=1&mfid=1553834922404_c591e49bc64f6)
Midrash Agnon: Out of the Historic Catastrophe (May 15, 22, 29): Lesson 1
Out of the Historic Catastrophe…As we mark the 50th anniversary of Hebrew literature’s only Nobel prize, we will explore what it meant for Jewish and Israeli culture when Agnon went to Stockholm in 1966, and what the enduring legacy of his writing is today. For our first session we will look at his famous speech before the King of Sweden, which declared that despite having been born in one of the cities of the exile, he always imagined himself to have been born in Jerusalem – a theme that resonated in his writing throughout his long career. Click here to read the speech in English. (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1966/agnon-speech.html) Click here to read the speech in Hebrew.(http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1966/agnon-speech_he.html) Video of awarding the prize.(http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1570) Audio recording of section of the speech.(https://youtu.be/LOVuN2JYBus) MY SINCERE APOLOGIES FOR THE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THAT PREVENTED THE CLASS FROM BEING BROADCAST. CLICK BELOW FOR AUDIO RECORDING AND SLIDESHOW OF IMAGES AND TEXTS (IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS WHERE TO PAGE THROUGH ON THE FILE TO SEE MATERIAL THAT CORRESPONDS WITH THE RECORDING). CLICK HERE FOR MP3 AUDIO RECORDING.(http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/midrash-agnon-out-of-the-historic-catastrophe-may-15-22-29/?archive=19840&iid=17167) CLICK HERE FOR SLIDESHOW OF TEXTS AND IMAGES.(http://www.webyeshiva.org/course/midrash-agnon-out-of-the-historic-catastrophe-may-15-22-29/?material=7310)
Midrash Agnon: Out of the Historic Catastrophe (May 15, 22, 29): Lesson 2
Agnon’s Influences-In the Nobel speech (which you can re-read here) Agnon described the variety of influences that acted upon his writing. We will explore them through the prism of his magnum opus Only Yesterday(http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=agnon+only+yesterday) (in Hebrew as Tmol Shilshom). Attached are selections from Only Yesterday, Book II, chapters 14-15, 24 (please let me know if you’d like the Hebrew text). On the presumption that you will not be able to (re-)read the whole novel before our session, you might watch this archived class: https://youtu.be/q3IgxzNQDE4
Midrash Agnon: Out of the Historic Catastrophe (May 15, 22, 29): Lesson 3
The 1966 Nobel to Agnon was widely viewed as a prize to the Hebrew language itself (one that has yet to be repeated). On what it means to “revive” a language – and the manner in which that should be undertaken in order to create an “old-new” literature – was something which greatly occupied Agnon in life as well as in his writing, and is the subject of his 1937 story “The Sense of Smell” (in Hebrew as “Chush HaRe’ach” in Elu veElu).
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding director of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education, in Jerusalem, and its WebYeshiva.org program. He is the Editor of the journal Tradition, Series Editor of The S.Y. Agnon Library at The Toby Press, and Director of Research at the Agnon House in Jerusalem. A three-time graduate of Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), Rabbi Saks has published widely on Jewish thought, education, and literature (see www.webyeshiva.org/rabbisaks).