Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A Life of Martin Buber by Maurice Friedman PDF

By Maurice Friedman

ISBN-10: 1557785961

ISBN-13: 9781557785961

"A transparent and lucid research .... Friedman analyzes Buber's responses to the $64000 occasions of the 20 th century". -- Library Journal"Definitive.... fairly attention-grabbing are the main points of Buber's final years". -- Booklist

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Additional info for Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A Life of Martin Buber

Sample text

It was also in Florence that he "fell in love" with Italian theater and the great Italian actress Eleonora Duse. And it was the love of Florence and Italy that set the pattern for the life of the Buber family during the years when Rafael, or Raffi, born in 1900, and Eva, born in 1901, were growing up. Every summer, the family went to Italy, and in 1906 they brought back with them from Florence to Germany Santina Santelli, an Italian maid who lived with the family for twenty years. Her favorite saying, "What can one do; that is life," became a household word and joke in the Buber family.

I cannot show my thankfulness and my love to you better than when I -- in my spheres -- emulate your manner and place my. life, like yours, in the service of the Jewish people. On the other hand, Buber's conversion to Zionism did not mean unqualified affirmation of everything Jewish and a complete reversal of his earlier critical attitude. On the contrary, his call for a "Jewish Renaissance" meant precisely the purifying and cutting away of the elements in Galut (exile) Judaism that he considered to be unhealthy degenerations -- shallow adaptations to the surrounding culture or fossilized emphasis on hair splitting commentary and rules of ritual law.

I tell once again the old stories, and if they sound new, it is because the new already lay dormant in them when they were told for the first time. What was missing in Buber's retelling, however, was precisely the stammer. What he received from the spoken word, stammered by "awkward lips," he transformed into artistic and urbane literature not destined for "the ears of anxious listeners" but for the sophisticated appraisal of readers attuned to the highest in German culture at the time. Buber never simply used Hasidism for the sake of his personal work or as a mere literary project.

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Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A Life of Martin Buber by Maurice Friedman

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