Reccommendation: Twilight by Elie Wiesel

9 Mar

When one says “I’m reading Twilight” angst ridden vampiric romance may spring to mind. However, this is not necessarily a foregone conclusion. There is an alternative- Nobel Prize winning author Elie Wiesel’s Twilight- and it is far from angst ridden, not necessarily romantic and certainly not vampiric. A more accurate description might be haunting, unexpected and truthful. Wiesel’s work is not necessarily of the “Holocaust novel” genre- if there is such a thing. The story of Twilight is two-fold, taking place both in a Biblically-focused mental institution and the ghettos and porgrams of Nazi occupied Europe. The main character, Raphael is the common thread connecting the two stories. What makes this work especially interesting is that it not only deals with the “here and now” aspect of Jewish persecution by 20th century Nazi Germany but also the deeper psychological effects of Jewish persecution and diaspora as well as an even broader context of the spiritual nature of insanity and why madness is an essential part of humanity. Wiesel’s treatment of the Holocaust as a significant cultural event as well as a deeply personal event through the eyes of its survivors, the witnesses of human atrocity, is deeply moving and undeniably thought-provoking.

“Satan is full of tricks…but bear in mind that he fears courage, so don’t ever close your eyes.”

“Before creation there was a vision of the future and I tell you, that vision could originate only in great madness.”

“Don’t expect to live in a harmonious world for the world is not that.”

“It may not be in man’s power to erase society’s evil, but he must become its conscience; it may not be in his power to create the glories of the night, but he must wait for them and describe their beauty.”

“I’ve always believed that a great novelist is able to see the entanglements of the human soul better than any psychiatrist.”

“To shrug it off and say, ‘That’s life’ solves nothing. Because at this very moment there are men everywhere suffering and inflicting suffering on others. Yes, life is deprivation, but it is also a summons.”

“Madmen frighten me, but not as much as those who push them to madness.”


One Response to “Reccommendation: Twilight by Elie Wiesel”

  1. readingarefun March 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Waiting for the day to come again when Wiesel’s is the better known Twilight… won’t be too long.

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