Magazine article New Internationalist

A Guide to the Perplexed

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Guide to the Perplexed

Article excerpt

Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli profoundly unhappy with the description and a fervent anti-Zionist. His politics were formed by his experiences serving in the Israeli military and he now lives in London in `voluntary exile'. In his debut novel he sets out to provoke strong reactions and, given his subject matter, doubtless he will succeed.

The book is set in the year 2052. Forty years after the destruction of the state of Israel, its people have experienced a new diaspora and its cultural legacy is a fading memory. In Germany, an organization called the Institute for the Documentation of Zion is formed to sift through the remaining fragments in an attempt to puzzle out the self-destructive paradox that was Israel. Among the documents it unearths is the autobiography of Gunther Wunker. His journal covers Israel's final days and tracks his development from an idealistic childhood to his disillusion during national service and his eventual exile in Germany, where he becomes a decidedly priapic academic and develops the alternative philosophy of `Peepology' - voyeurism taken to extremes. …

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