ReadySteadyBlog

World Literature Today have published a list of the Top 40 Most Important Works in the World 1927 - present. I was thrilled to see, for 1945, SY Agnon's The Day Before Yesterday (this Princeton University Press edition is called Only Yesterday, but it is the same book.)


SY Agnon (1887-1970) was born Shmuel-Yoysef Tshatshkes in the Jewish town of Butshatsh in eastern Galicia, formerly a Polish region. In 1908 he went with the Second Aliya to Palestine, where he published several early masterpieces in Hebrew. In 1912-1924 he lived in Germany and was regularly supported by the publisher and Zionist Sh.-Z. Schocken. From 1924 Agnon lived mostly in Jerusalem. In 1966 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (along with Nelly Sachs). Among his works translated into English are A Simple Story, The Bridal Canopy, Days of Awe, In the Heart of the Seas, and Shira.


The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (1956) by João Guimarães Rosa is also listed. I keep hearing great things about this novel. I also heard, ages ago, that Verso were thinking of reprinting it.


The Rake has lots of knockabout comments on this (via Scott).

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