In Becoming a Jewish Novelist, Vasily Grossman Also Became a Great One

Between writing his first novel, Stalingrad, in the aftermath of World War II and his second, Life and Fate, after the death of Stalin, the great Soviet Jewish writer Vasily Grossman became utterly disillusioned with Communism—a transformation that, to Joseph Epstein, is part of what makes the former merely “an important book” and the latter “a masterpiece.” While part of this change in perspective was due to the revelations of Stalin’s crimes, Epstein writes that Grossman’s growing sensitivity to his own Jewish identity played a role as well:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Hannah Arendt, Holocaust, Jewish literature, Soviet Jewry, Vasily Grossman

Turkish Reconciliation with Israel Could Happen, but It Won’t Come Easily

Jan. 27 2021

In recent weeks, Ankara has made a variety of gestures that suggest a desire to reestablish its once friendly relations with Jerusalem, which have deteriorated since Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002. On Monday, unverified reports circulated in the Western press that Turkey is prepared to expel Hamas, which has had its main base of operations there since 2015. Erdogan’s reasons for seeking to make amends are not hard to divine: he faces a hostile White House, tensions with the European Union, a sputtering economy, and a rocky relationship with his sometimes-patron in Moscow. But, Lazar Berman writes, much has changed since 1949, when Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to recognize the Jewish state:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey