Jiří Weil - Weil's Legacy

Weil's Legacy

In recent years, Weil's "Star" is considered a classic. According to Philip Roth (who was largely responsible for introducing Weil to American readers) the book is "without a doubt, one of the outstanding novels I've read about the fate of a Jew under the Nazis. I don't know another like it." Michiko Kakutani adds that it is "one of the most powerful works to emerge from the Holocaust: it is a fierce and necessary work of art." And Siri Hustvedt has written ; "When I mention this astounding novel to people, I am almost always met with blankness. It may be that its subject matter, the Nazi occupation of Prague, is grim. I don't know. What I do know is that I read the book when it came out - (the English translation, published in 1989, 40 years after its first publication in Czechoslovakia) - and it burned itself into me. The words German, Nazi and Jew never appear. There is nothing coy about these omissions. They are essential to the novel's uncanny immediacy, its urgent telling of a human story which, despite its particularity, refuses to locate itself in the past."

Beyond "Life with a Star" and "Mendelssohn is on the Roof" Weil's fiction is woefully underrepresented in English-language translations. A limited edition of "Colors," was recently available through University of Michigan Press in a limited run. At this writing, his other novels have not been translated into English.

Only Life with a Star and Mendelssohn is on the Roof," Moskva-hranice, and Dřevená lžice have been reprinted in Czech.

The 110th anniversary of the birth of Jiří Weil marked by premiere of concert performance of a ballet "MAKANNA" written by the Czech composer and organist Irena Kosíková, based on his novel Makanna otec divů. The concert featured Jan Židlický as narrator, the Czech cellist František Brikcius and the Talich Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Jan Talich. "Makanna" was held under the auspices of Sir Tom Stoppard and Václav Havel to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the birth of Jiří Weil (1900–1959) and as part of the "Daniel Pearl World Music Days" and made possible by the cooperation of the National Gallery, the Jewish Museum in Prague, and the City of Prague.

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Famous quotes containing the words weil and/or legacy:

    The needs of a human being are sacred. Their satisfaction cannot be subordinated either to reasons of state, or to any consideration of money, nationality, race, or color, or to the moral or other value attributed to the human being in question, or to any consideration whatsoever.
    —Simone Weil (1909–1943)

    What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466–1536)