Two Jews on a Train: Stories from the Old Country and the New

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Mai 2001



"Two Jews were traveling on a train. . . ." Many Eastern European jokes--and several of the charming and often hilarious conversations in this book--begin this way. From all regions of the world and from all walks of life, the characters are young and full of life and old and ugly; they are rabbis, matchmakers, students, and immigrants. They gossip and speak about everything from the banalities of the world to the unspeakable evils of existence all for a single purpose: to laugh and to celebrate the good luck of being alive. As Biro recounts these tales, we hear not only his voice and the voice of his father, but those of generations of storytellers who have used humor to teach about the truly important issues in life--the delicacy of love, the fragility of friendship, the pitfalls of self-righteousness, the costs of narrow-mindedness, and the unpredictability of life itself. Biro artfully spins each story, lingering on the details, guiding the reader to the inevitable--yet always unexpected--punchline. Taken individually, these stories will make you laugh out loud; taken as a whole, they form an invaluable record of the sensibilities of an entire people. Biro writes: "These Jewish stories of which not a single one happened to me, and of which I did not invent a single one, do describe me, do characterize me, do explain me. They are "always" my own story. And yours."


Adam Biro is a French publisher and author who was born in Hungary. His previous books include Dictionnaire general du surrealisme et de ses environs (coedited with Rene Passeron) and Tsigane. Catherine Tihanyi is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at Western Washington University.


"In applying an Old World sensibility to the present, the author underscores the nature of the divide between them, and the increasingly despairing punchline of each joke seems to become: Why did You abandon us?" - The New Yorker "A sort of whimsical Jewish Arabian Nights that takes you to Baghdad and New York, Paris and Brussels. If its spirit could be summed up in one sentence, it might be the one from the book describing a 100-year-old patriarch, who 'loved life in spite of his infinite despair about human beings and their condition." - Elaine Kalman Naves, Montreal Gazette "Somewhere between Isaac Bashevis Singer and Morey Amsterdam." - Kirkus Reviews "You have to read Adam Biro... for the little details between the lines, which are awe inspiring!" - La liberte, on the French edition "There are tales of schnorrers, matchmakers, gossips, immigrants, a golf-playing rabbi.... Between the lines are tales of the fragility of love, friendship and of life itself, and the possibilities of redemption. The strength of these stories is Biro's skill as a story-teller and his apparent love of the material. He has a light touch and the tales are short, but packed full of imagery and emotion." - Sandee Brawarsky, Jewish Week
EAN: 9780226052144
ISBN: 0226052141
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Mai 2001
Seitenanzahl: 144 Seiten
Übersetzer/Sprecher: Übersetzt von Catherine Tihanyi
Format: gebunden
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