30 abril 2013

Ten reason not to read Singer in the summer (or never)

  Isaac Bashevis Singer (Leoncin - Poland 1904 - Florida, 1991) is the most universal Yiddish writer known (all his work that we have read, for those of us who don´t speak Yiddish, are “translations” to English that he did himself). As you can see the guy was everything but simple. He won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. However, this fact should not lead us to mistakenly thinking that it will be harmless or even beneficial to read his work. Here are ten reasons for not reading his work:
  1. When reading Singer you enter in a dangerous treatise on the soul of the Jewish people. If you are Jewish you will find that the author can fuel some of the most ingrained anti-Semitic criticisms. Needless to say, the Zionists don´t get better treatment. Instead, if you are anti-Semitic, it goes without saying that your ideas will be exposed and starkly portrayed.
  2. Progressive, rightists (sorry neoliberal), and in general all those who embrace any ideology, will be shaken by a discharge of skepticism at the same level. It is true that Singer did not look over his shoulder with his enlightening political or moral wisdom "on the way of the truth" but, of course, do not expect a pat on the back of their most deeply-held convictions.
  3. If you are someone who reads to raise your spirit, get rid of doubts and find certainties in exemplary characters, you must avoid Singer at all costs. His characters live lives that are convulsive like currents and if anything lacking certainty.
  4. Sex and passion seeps from every pore on every page of Singer. A spanking for the Puritans. But don’t sing victory yet. Refrain romantics and fans of "Pretty Woman". Although the desire constantly shakes, like a gale to Singer's characters, you will not find any erotic scenes that writers of "erotic novels" like.
  5. People that are Politically correct, please refrain. Extending the previously stated. The relationships between men and women in his writings are very complicated. You could say the same about family relationships. The passion is often so stark that the characters in his novels would, if they lived in Spain nowadays, spend their days in court.
  6. If you are someone who thinks that everything that is written and told should have a special prevention. Singer is a story teller. Stories that advance furiously live raging waves. The dialogues are so witty and dry, like the best of Chandler. Refrain all who like reading ten pages that describe a worm crossing a carpet.
  7. If you are someone who loves to "identify" himself/herself with the characters, you must take particular care, because, although you probably will not be a Polish Jew or American, passions, trials and tribulations of the characters will seem sometimes extracted from your deep secrets. In that case, sometimes what you discover is not very nice.
  8. As a devious Jew, Singer wrote delicious stories for children. He generally hated them. Nothing to say about them. They are delicious and fun, without being childish or violent. Even the most radical psychologists against popular tales would approve them. But be careful. They are hooks. From here, the small reader could continue to the novels.
  9. The reflection, religion, spirituality and even the hidden forces and spirits is present in many pages. If you think these issues have been overcome, you should not be exposed to being a skeptic or a believer. Stay away from Singer!
  10. Finally, a generic recommendation. Regular readers of Ruiz Zafón, Almudena Grandes or Paulo Coelho, my recommendation is to stay away from Singer´s books. Instead, Woody Allen and the Coen brother’s fans will find happy coincidences.
If, despite all these recommendations you insist on the crazy idea of reading and entering the stormy world of Isaac Bashevis Singer, here are some tips and recommendations warning that its use can lead to addiction.
  • “Shadows over Hudson”
  • “The slave”
  • “The certificate”
  • “The magician from Lublin”
  • “Jewish tales of the village Chelm” (Children’s)
  • “Enemies, a love story”
  • “A life”. Florence Noiville. Biography

PS: The fiction begins in the books inner cover, which gives significant biographical information, but wrong about his life. Which one?

El humor está aquí, en alguna parte
Síguenos en Facebook y Twitter
Translation by Amanda Perri

4 comentarios:

  1. Wow! What a wonderful article about Singer. I read all his books and I totally agree with you.

  2. One of my favourite authors, thank you for writing in English, Regards Nathan

  3. I have no idea who the author is, but I enjoyed reading the blog. I look forward to many more in English


¡Gracias por tu comentario!