Mourning a Father Lost

Mourning a Father Lost
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A Kibbutz Childhood Remembered
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Artikel-Nr:
9781461639411
Veröffentl:
2003
Seiten:
216
Autor:
Avraham Balaban
eBook Typ:
EPUB
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Returning to the kibbutz of his childhood to attend his father's funeral, Avraham Balaban confronts his still intensely painful childhood memories. With a poet's keen voice, the author weaves together two interrelated stories: a sensitive artist growing up in the intensely pragmatic world of Kibbutz Huldah and the rise and fall of a grand yet failed social experiment. As he moves through the seven days of sitting shivah for his father, Balaban experiences an expanding cycle of mourning-for self, family, the kibbutz, and Israel itself. He pens a poignant, frank portrait of the emotional damage wrought by the kibbutz educational system, which separated children from their parents. Indeed, he realizes that he is mourning not the physical death of his father, but the much earlier death of the father-child bond. Readers will see the kibbutz movement, and Israel in general, with new eyes after finishing this book.
Returning to the kibbutz of his childhood to attend his father's funeral, Avraham Balaban confronts his buried yet still intensely painful childhood memories. Comparing the kibbutz of today with that of his early years, the author weaves together two interrelated stories: a sensitive artist growing up in the intensely pragmatic world of Kibbutz Huldah and the rise and fall of a grand yet failed social experiment. As he moves through the seven days of sitting shivah for his father, Balaban experiences an expanding cycle of mourning—for self, family, the kibbutz, and Israel itself. With a poet's keen voice, Balaban pens a poignant, frank portrait of the emotional damage wrought by the kibbutz educational system, which separated children from their parents, hoping to establish a new kind of family, a nonbiological family. Indeed, he realizes that he is mourning not the physical death of his father, but the much earlier death of the father-child bond. Only the unwavering love of his remarkable mother rescued him. Readers will see the kibbutz movement, and Israel in general, with new eyes after finishing this book.

In the process of unearthing his earliest memories, Balaban meditates on the mechanism of memory and the forces that shape it. Thus, he examines the varied layers—familial, societal, and national—that establish individual identity. During the shivah, he discovers the tremendous power of words in shaping one's world, on the one hand, and their redemptive power on the other.
Chapter 1 Child of a Dream, Child of a Laboratory
Part 2 Ten Opening Data
Chapter 3 Broken Skies
Chapter 4 Remembering a Lack
Chapter 5 A Moment's Silence, Please
Chapter 6 What Did You Learn in Kindergarten Today?
Chapter 7 Gordonia Hulda
Chapter 8 Four Eyes, Two Mouths
Chapter 9 Crowding
Chapter 10 Cultivators
Chapter 11 Death in a Clown's Cap
Chapter 12 Observing Hands—Possible Memories: A Note on First-Person Narratives
Part 13 Words
Chapter 14 Pampered Children—Nehemiah
Chapter 15 A Decent Society
Chapter 16 Words
Chapter 17 A Lost War
Chapter 18 A Wet Icicle
Chapter 19 What Memory Recalls
Chapter 20 Blue Bruises on the Flesh: Openings on Life
Chapter 21 Pampered Children—Yossi
Chapter 22 Singing and Weeping: Early Training
Chapter 23 Pampered Children
Chapter 24 Crowding: Hairstyles from Overseas
Chapter 25 Pampered Children—Shlomo
Chapter 26 Pampered Children: Sex is Little Moments of Love
Chapter 27 Pampered Children—Batsheva
Chapter 28 Singing and Crying: Homeland Songs
Chapter 29 Coffee
Chapter 30 A Dream
Chapter 31 Parting
Part 32 Completions
Chapter 33 The Return Home
Chapter 34 Early Days
Chapter 35 Birth
Chapter 36 What Have They Done to You?
Chapter 37 A Miss
Chapter 38 Laboratory Child, Laboratory Mother
Chapter 39 Days of Crisis
Chapter 40 Portrait of a Man as a Poet
Chapter 41 A Walk: A Place
Chapter 42 A Nocturnal Chat
Chapter 43 Circles: Children's Stories
Chapter 44 A Family Picture
Chapter 45 A Will
Chapter 46 Completions: Two Possible Stories
Chapter 47 Crowding
Chapter 48 The Wheel Turns
Chapter 49 An Israeli Sorrow
Chapter 50 Love
Chapter 51 A Miss: A Possible Journey to Bendery
Chapter 52 Dry Sobs
Chapter 53
Chapter 54

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