Bringing together many of the strands woven through his previous works, Wiesel takes readers into the life of Raphael Lipkin, a professor of mystical traditions who finds himself at a clinic for patients who believe themselves to be characters from the Bible and ancient history."
"Wiesel's latest novel ponders the question, Who is running the asylum? Raphael is a professor on sabbatical studying at an exclusive upstate New York asylum (the Mountain Clinic, which caters to patients whose ``schizophrenia is linked to Ancient History, to Biblical times''). Wiesel's portraits of these descendants of Adam (one actually believes himself to be Adam) bring a dark humor to this otherwise somber story. Raphael studies not only the patients and staff, but also his own past, reliving the effect of the Holocaust on his family, his own escape, and the loss of his savior, Pedro. (When Pedro stole into Russia to extract Raphael's only living brother, neither were ever seen again.) Raphael's guilt at having survived has begun to smother him, yet it is his struggle that prompts him to ask such probing questions about God, life, and death. A compelling novel. DPD. [OCLC] 88-2634"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Exploring the painful affinity between life and death, sanity and madness, Nobel Laureate Wiesel draws yet again on the experiences of the Holocaust to provide an answer. At the novel's center is Raphael Lipkin, a professor who, convinced he is going mad, seeks respite from his tortured imaginings in a mental clinic where he is both a temporary staff member, exploring the relationship between madness and prophecy, and a patient. Raphael's family has disappeared into the death camps, but although he speaks to them in his dreams, it is to his absent friend Pedro that he pours out his heart, for whom he searches among the madmen in the sanitarium. Guilt obsesses him, as it must all survivors, but the particularity of his guilt resides in Pedro, who gave his life or his sanity (which for Raphael are the same) in an effort to save Raphael's brother Yoel. Poignant though the recounted suffering must in fact have been, the canvas is too broad for any single player to kindle sympathy, the expression of emotion too overblown to bring tears. Torture, death, the violence of separation are recounted in cliche-ridden prose. Yet a lingering question manages to possess the reader: Is every survivor already half dead? (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| New York :Summit Books,1988
|| Crépuscule, au loin.
Translation of: Le crépuscule, au loin.
217 pages ; 25 cm