This is the tenth and final essay in a series by Hillel Halkin on seminal Hebrew writers of the 19th and early-20th centuries. The preceding nine essays have dealt with the novelists Joseph Perl, Avraham Mapu, Peretz Smolenskin, and Yosef Ḥayyim Brenner, the poets Yehudah Leib Gordon, Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik, and Raḥél Bluvshtayn, the essayists and Zionist thinkers Ahad Ha’am and A.D. Gordon, and the writer, journalist, and intellectual Micha Yosef Berdichevsky.
The Matchless Master of Modern Hebrew Literature
In his fiction, and especially in the novel Only Yesterday, S.Y. Agnon casts an ironic, unfooled eye on the inner lives of his fellow Jews and their lopsided bargains with modernity.