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Etty Hillesum

We have to become as simple and as wordless as the growing corn or the falling rain. We must just be. — Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork. (Picador; unknown edition, November 15, 1996)

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Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Fragment · Jewish Culture · Passage · Poetry · Russian Culture · Russian Literature

Osip Mandelstam

Where to start? Everything cracks and shakes. The air trembles with similes. No one word’s better than another; the earth moans with metaphors, and the shays hitched to shimmering flocks of birds all heaving together fly apart, racing against the day’s favorites. — Osip Mandelstam, from “He Who Finds a Horseshoe,” trans. Clarence Brown and… Continue reading Osip Mandelstam

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American Literature · Classic · Contemporary · Excerpt · Historical Fiction · Holocaust · Jewish Culture · Jewish Literature · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote

Jonathan Safran Foer

I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others — The only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. — Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated. (Houghton… Continue reading Jonathan Safran Foer

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