The Pure Element of Time

An evening with Israeli Writer Haim Be'er

Wed, December 2, 2009 | Texas Hillel, 2105 San Antonio St.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The Pure Element of Time

About the Author:

Haim Be`er was born in Jerusalem in 1945 and was raised in an Orthodox home. He completed his army service in the military chaplaincy. In 1966, he began working for Am Oved Publishing House and is now a member of the editorial board. He also wrote a weekly column for the daily Davar for many years. At present, he teaches Hebrew literature and creative writing at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 
Be`er has received several literary awards for his poetry and fiction, including the Bernstein Prize, the Bialik Prize (2002) and the ACUM Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2005). His novel, Feathers, is included among "The Greatest Works of Modern Jewish Literature" (2001). 

Haim Be'er is the Writer-in-Residence at the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies for Fall 2009.


About the book:

Published in 1998 as Havalim, The Pure Element of Time is a rich and evocative autobiographical novel about a writer's development. With his keen eye and opulent writing style, Haim Be'er turns the story of his childhood and maturity into a complex and gripping work of art.

Constructed as a triptych, The Pure Element of Time begins with the author's boyhood. Raised in an orthodox family in an old Jerusalem neighborhood in the early 1950s, Be'er was profoundly influenced by his overly pious grandmother, who was, nonetheless, a natural storyteller whose richly evocative parables and tales inspired his lifelong love for language. The middle section depicts his parents' marriage, a tragic misalliance between a smart, independent Jerusalem-born woman and a withdrawn and defeated refugee from the Russian pogroms. The emergence of the writer's individual literary voice--informed by, yet ultimately transcending, the influences of tradition and history--forms the emotional and psychological core of Be'er's work.

Sponsored by: Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies jointly with Texas Hillel

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