Published in 1998 as Havalim, The Pure Element of Time is a rich and evocative autobiographical novel about a writer's development. With his keen eye and opulent writing style, Haim Be'er turns the story of his childhood and maturity into a complex and gripping work of art.
Constructed as a triptych, The Pure Element of Time begins with the author's boyhood. Raised in an orthodox family in an old Jerusalem neighborhood in the early 1950s, Be'er was profoundly influenced by his overly pious grandmother, who was, nonetheless, a natural storyteller whose richly evocative parables and tales inspired his lifelong love for language. The middle section depicts his parents' marriage, a tragic misalliance between a smart, independent Jerusalem-born woman and a withdrawn and defeated refugee from the Russian pogroms. The emergence of the writer's individual literary voice-informed by, yet ultimately transcending, the influences of tradition and history-forms the emotional and psychological core of Be'er's work.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
This poignant narrative part memoir, part novel chronicles the upbringing of one of Israel s preeminent writers, recounting the relationships and tensions that shaped him . . . With vibrant prose, [Be er] tells the story of a writer who transcends personal and social limitations to create lasting art. Nextbook"
[A]n intricate blend of human relationships, aspirations and most candidly limitations. . . . Most compelling is Be er s take on Israeli history from the perspective of the country s Orthodox minority. Publishers Weekly"
A probing, splendid novel. Hadassah"
[A]n autobiographical novel . . . revealing the unique familial and social influences that sparked the imagination of the young writer. Translation Review"
"A probing, splendid novel."--Hadassah