Book Reviews of Grossman's characters, and the arrested violence is replicated here. The father takes it upon himself to renovate the apartment of a neighbor, a genteel single woman of taste. The result is an arrested but ferocious attraction between the virile father and the fading fragile woman. Having been dominated by his wife throughout their marriage, the father falls in love with the neighbor as his only voluntary act since arriving in Israel. His wife, like a hawk, watches the playing out of this dangerous amatory episode. The father's sexual power is entirely encompassed in demolishing the walls of the woman's apartment, now left entirely ruined, after the Fieldingian orgy of destruction. The complexity of the characters is reflected in the language provided for them by the author. The son's highly cultured Hebrew co-exists with the broken language of the father and his use of Yiddish. The family has its own language which Grossman creates with stunning verisimilitude. In her rage, the mother claims that the boy's stunted growth is of his own volition, and despite the grotesque element in this claim, there is a germ of truth in it. The agony of growing up, the element
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 3, 1996
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