Articles by Bezalel Stern

June 5, 2012

The Maturation of Etgar Keret 2

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door encapsulates the tenor of much of the best of Keret’s short fiction: The striving to chronicle the human situation, to get beyond the partisan politics, anger, and fear of the contemporary Middle East even while struggling (knowingly struggling) within those constraints.

July 20, 2011

On Treating Books Badly 20

Books as books – as tangible things you can hold in your hands and show off to curious onlookers on the subway and friends who visit your apartment – are something I hold in high esteem. But there is, as I say, some pleasure in letting go, in allowing a book to get wet, in treasuring a book not for what it looks like but for what it says.

May 11, 2011

‘Was Guilt Innocent?’ The Books of Harry Mulisch 7

The Assault, probably Harry Mulisch’s most well known work, is to my mind the best account ever written of being a non-Jew in an occupied Nazi territory.

October 19, 2010

Hemingway, Michaels, Bellows: The Art of the Episodic Short Story 5

Finishing a story – a good, well-written story – about a character both well developed and personally intriguing, and knowing that another story about that very same character is out there somewhere, has become, for me, one of the best feelings in the world.

August 20, 2010

On Coincidence, Love, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being 6

Death is hidden somewhere in the middle of the book, and it doesn’t mean a thing.

September 28, 2009

The Impish Delight of Edward Gorey 2

Two assumptions are often made about the magnificent writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. First, that he is British. Second, that he is long dead.

August 4, 2009

Nabokov, Wallace, and the Incredible Shrinking Book 3

I was vaguely shocked and cautiously appalled to learn last week that Vladimir Nabokov’s “new” novel, The Original of Laura, due for release in August, isn’t, in fact, much of a novel at all. “This very unfinished work reads largely like an outline, full of seeming notes-to-self, references to source material, self-critique, sentence fragments and […]

July 14, 2009

Recession Reading: Independence Day by Richard Ford 2

Bezalel Stern is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in New York. He is currently at work on his first novel about the life and times of a Wall Street day trader. For some obvious reasons (and others not quite so obvious) around this time of year I often go back to Richard Ford’s […]