"When you talk about Israel, we are neither the West, nor the East. We are people from the Mediterranean. That's our identity," says Abraham B. Yehoshua, one of contemporary Israeli literature's most prominent authors, laureate of numerous awards and writer regularly nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Opinions of Abraham B. Yehoshua
He was a part of the delegation that visited this year's Book World Prague. His expressive appearance on Saturday afternoon consisted for the most part of a wide-ranging platform of the author's opinions on various topics, starting with his uncompromisingly critical stance on American influence, under whose yoke Israeli culture has allegedly been for the past forty, fifty years, all the way to the search for personal and national identity and one's relationship with death, which everyone must find for himself. As far as literature is concerned, he reiterated his affinity to William Faulkner's works and also talked about his novel Mr. Mani, which travels back in history from 1982 to the year 1948.
"You come to understand that whatever has happened one or two hundred years ago still influences your present moments, even though you mightn't be aware of it." He also opined that literature of the 2nd half of the 20th century loses influence as it chose to leave moral issues aside. In other words, 19th century's classic authors still remain classic authors in the 21st century because they worked on behalf of morality. To sum up, Abraham B. Yehoshua's appearance adopted the form of a presentation of a very diverse range of the writer's opinions and attitudes.