A Wounded Loyalty

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, you shall surely reprove your fellow and not bear guilt because of him. Leviticus 19:17 “This last winter was another lost in fog. As usual he did nothing.” In this way A.B. Yehoshua introduces readers to the anonymous, plodding, intellectually undistinguished Israeli protagonist of his story “Facing the Forests,” which appeared in 1968. The character betrays clumsiness even with his own perceptions, which often strike him as blurry, out of focus. A haze encircles him. At first he seems merely lazy, but slowly, slowly, at the glacial pace of a narrative that unfolds in a universe staggering beneath its own drowsiness, the reader realizes that this man is bound by an incapacitating awareness that something terrible has gone wrong. He has been sewn into an inheritance, bequeathed to him at birth, which he is powerless to set right. This awareness thickens

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