On today’s episode, host Marcela Sulak reads Between Life and Death, the final novel of Yoram Kaniuk, who died in 2013. The celebrated book is a type of auto-fiction in which real life and memoir blend with style and language and humor. It’s a stream of consciousness journey that takes place when the narrator, also named Yoram Kaniuk, lies in coma after surgery.
“After these things—after disease and after death and after pain and after laughter and after betrayal and after old age and after grace and love and after a foolish son the heaviness of his mother and a woman of valor who stayed with me in beauty in the abyss—after all that I woke up into a half sleep and stayed there four months. And it was bad and it was good and it was sad and it was lost and it was a miracle and it was what it was and it wasn’t what it wasn’t and it could have been and I recalled it was night. A night sealed up in its night. I spent it in bad dreams and woke up dazed with sleep, I was healthy, in my house at 13 Bilu Street, and suddenly I recalled that at night I’d dreamed of screwdrivers. I had no need of a screwdriver and so I didn’t search and I didn’t find it, but in the place where the screwdriver could have been if there had been one, I found an old map of Tel Aviv, and since the map was already there, I left it and went to drink coffee and I ate a croissant they call corasson here and returned home, to the map, and thought of looking for the street where I lived.“
Kaniuk’s work was featured on a previous episode, which can be found here.
Between Life and Death by Yoram Kaniuk. Translated by Barbara Harshav. Restless Books, September 2016
Arik Einstein – White City
שלישיית קצה השדה – ערב בא
Benny Berman & Aharon Shabtai – Life 1959
Producer: Ariella Plachta
Technical producer: Tammy Goldenberg