The Juggler, by Michael Blankfort
There is an element of the “double-take,” or better, of the déjà vu, in contemporary writing about Israel which is one of its arresting features and which sets up an immediate, if not always relevant, tension in the mind of the reader. Even the unreligious Gentile is likely to come to such works with his retina holding the blurred after-image of countless photographs of Bible scenes which he once pored over on rainy afternoons at somebody’s house when there was nothing better to do. The pictures, themselves usually a little blurred too, were the product less of art or honest reportage than of outright sentimentality; it was more important to have a scene labeled “Mount Carmel,” for the sake of the associations the words evoked, than to see that elevation in clear outlines.
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