26 October 2006

APPELFELD, Aharon - Katerina

Read September 2006

K.H book

Schocken Books, New York.

This is an easy-to-read and gripping book, as we focus on Katerina's terrible plight. We also learn something of the backwardness and racism of Ruthenia at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century.

The book is explicit in ramming two points down our throats; first, that the Jewish community was more educated and cultured than the gentile peasantry, and second that the gentile peasantry was murderously anti-Semitic. While I can believe both these points contain major elements of truth, the turning them into universal sociological axioms gives the book a maybe unintended racist feel of a girl from an inferior race meeting a superior race. Nonetheless, this is a very good book.

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