Agnon (Czaczkes), Shmuel Yosef


Agnon (Czaczkes), Shmuel Yosef
(1888–1970)
   Israel writer and Nobel laureate 1966. A small, shy man, his head always covered by a yamelke (skull- cap), Agnon was an odd figure to appear before the distinguished Swedish Academy to receive the Nobel Prize. In his acceptance speech he said: ‘Through a historical catastrophe - the destruction of Jerusalem by the Emperor of Rome … I was born in one of the cities of the Diaspora. But I always deemed myself as one who was really born in Jerusalem.’
   The Diaspora of his birth was Galicia. His father, a fur trader, was a scholarly man who taught the boy Talmud, while his mother told him stories from German literature. At the age of eight he was writing poetry and by 1904 was regularly publishing poetry and prose in Hebrew and Yiddish. In 1907, with his family’s reluctant consent, he went to Palestine and became secretary to Chovevei Zion in Jaffa. He published his first story, Agunot (‘Deserted Wives’) a year later and signed it Agnon, which became his official name in 1924. The pioneers of the Second Aliyah were arriving with the creed of labour on the land. To them an author was considered bourgeois. In one of his novels, Tmol Shilshom (‘Only Yesterday’, 1931–5), Agnon describes with irony how labour gave the pioneers the satisfaction of religion. Some, he wrote, came to work; others to write a book about it.
   From 1913 to 1924, Agnon lived in Germany and his works found an appreciative audience among the Zionist youth. There he met Salman Schocken, who became his publisher and supporter. He renewed his friendship with BIALIK and also met Martin BUBER, who published Agnon’s stories in his magazine, Der Jude. In 1924 his home was burnt down, destroying all his manuscripts, including a novel about to be published.
   Agnon then settled in Jerusalem and continued to write in Hebrew for a growing public. His work reflected and echoed the life and death of the eastern European shtetl as he knew it, also the early pioneering in Palestine and the life of Jerusalem. He developed his own style, a mixture of modern Hebrew and talmudic language. It was a continuation of the Hebrew language used in rabbinic literature and in tales of the pious - a new-old style which had great appeal. He also published two non-fiction works, Yamim Nora’im (1938; English Days of Awe, 1948), an anthology on the High Holy Days, and Sefer, Sofer ve- Sippur (1938), about books and writers. Several of his works have been translated into other languages.
   In 1935 Agnon received the Bialik prize in Hebrew literature and the following year (1936) he was awarded an honorary degree of Hebrew Letters by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He twice received the Israel Prize (1954, 1958), and in 1966 he was the first Israel writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, sharing it with the German-Jewish poet Nelly SACHS.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AGNON, SHMUEL YOSEF — (Czaczkes, Samuel Josef; 1888–1970), Hebrew writer; Nobel Laureate in literature. One of the central figures in modern Hebrew fiction, his works deal with major contemporary spiritual concerns: the disintegration of traditional ways of life, the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Shmuel Yosef Agnón — Shmuel Yosef Agnon. Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes (שמואל יוסף עגנון), nombre original de Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888 1970), fue un escritor judío, el más fértil de entre los novelistas, escritores de cuento y antologistas de Israel. Premiado con el Nobel de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes — (שמואל יוסף עגנון), nombre original de Shmuel Yosef Agnon, fue un escritor nacido en 1888 en Buczacz (Polonia) donde su padre era rabino. Agnon no fue a la escuela sino que recibió educación de su padre que le enseñó el aggadah, y de su madre que …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon — Infobox Writer name = Shmuel Yosef Agnon שמואל יוסף עגנון imagesize = 100px birthdate = birth date|1887|8|8|mf=y birthplace = Buczacz, Galicia deathdate = death date and age|1970|2|17|1887|8|8|mf=y deathplace = Jerusalem, Israel awards =… …   Wikipedia

  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon — Samuel Josef Agnon Samuel Josef Agnon (hebräisch שמואל יוסף עגנון Schemu el Josef Agnon; eigentlich Samuel Josef Czaczkes; * 17. Juli 1888 in Buczacz, Galizien, heute Ukraine; † 17. Februar 1970 in Rechowot bei Tel Aviv) gilt als einer der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon — Samuel Joseph Agnon Samuel Joseph Agnon (hébreu : שמואל יוסף עגנון), (Samuel Joseph Czaczkes), écrivain israélien (17 juillet 1888 17 février 1970), premier écrivain de langue hébraïque …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Agnon — Shmuel Yosef Agnon pseudonym of Samuef Josef Czaczkes …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Agnon, S.Y. — orig. Shmuel Yosef Halevi Czaczkes born July 17, 1888, Buczacz, Galicia, Austria Hungary died Feb. 17, 1970, Reḥovot, Israel Israeli writer. Born into a Polish Galician family, Agnon settled in Palestine in 1907 and chose Hebrew as his literary… …   Universalium

  • Agnon, S.Y. — orig. Shmuel Yosef Halevi Czaczkes (17 jul. 1888, Buczacz, Galitzia, Austria Hungría–17 feb. 1970, ReFONT face=Tahomaḥovot, Israel). Escritor israelí. Nació en una familia de la Galitzia polaca, Agnon se radicó en Palestina en 1907 y optó por el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Agnon — /ag non/, n. Shmuel Yosef /shmooh el yoh seuhf, zeuhf/, (Samuel Josef Czaczkes), 1888 1970, Israeli novelist and short story writer, born in Poland: Nobel prize 1966. * * * …   Universalium


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