Only Yesterday

By S. Y. Agnon; Barbara Harshav | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
The Only Yesterday of Only Yesterday
BENJAMIN HARSHAV

As Agnon felt that this strangely intensive bygone world happened “only yesterday,” but was timelessly valid, so his own fictional world was alive, pervading all of modern Hebrew culture “only yesterday,” and can—and should—stand beyond its ostensibly parochial landscape as one of the great literary myths of the twentieth century.

Shmuel-Yosef Agnon's Hebrew novel Only Yesterday (Tmol Shilshom) was written in Palestine under British Mandatory rule in the late 1930s, finished in 1943 during World War II, and published after the war in 1945. The prominent Israeli literary critic Barukh Kurzweil, a German Ph.D. in literature and a leading authority on his fellow Austro-Hungarian novelist, pronounced: “The place of Only Yesterday is among the greatest works of world literature.” Those were not parochial sentiments of a “minor literature”; similar opinions were voiced by Leah Goldberg, Hebrew poetess and polyglot, translator of Petrarch and Tolstoy into Hebrew, and first professor of comparative literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; and by Robert B. Alter, Professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley, a discerning critic and scholar of the European novel.

On the face of it, it is a simple story about a simple man, Isaac Kumer, who immigrated from Austrian Galicia to that cultural backwater, the southern Syrian province under Ottoman rule (the historical Palestine). He arrived with the Second Aliya—a few hundred secular idealists, mostly Socialist Zionists from Russia, who came to the Land of Israel between 1904 and 1914 to till the soil, revive “Hebrew labor” and the Hebrew language, and became the founding generation of Israeli society. Isaac, however, who believed in their

-vii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Only Yesterday
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 652

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.