Fiction Andre Kaminski Kith and Kin

ISBN 13: 9780880641043

Kith and Kin

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9780880641043: Kith and Kin

Book by Kaminski, Andre

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Language Notes:

Text: English, German (translation)

Review:

The complications of "kissin' kin" rollick through the punningly titled Kith and Kin, Andre Kaminski's first novel. Kaminski produces his own forefathers, great gaggles of Kaminskis and Rosenbachs; then he bounces them all over Europe and America-and finally mixes these rather daunting bloodlines to produce, what else, Andre Kaminski. The Kaminski boys hit America as the outlandishly described only all-Jewish, left wing soccer club in the world. Garnes-playing is, like kissing and kinning, essential to the book (titled Ndchstes jahre in Jerusakm in its initial form). Here it has been translated from the German by Harry Zohn, who does wonders, capturing the grand gusto of this comic caricature of a family history. Andre Kaminski belongs among the writers who laugh as they recall the lives and times of Europe before its grievous and grief-making two-part civil war in this century, and that list includes writers as diverse as I.B. Singer, He" Roth, Mordecai Richler, Chaim Potok, and Yaacov Zipper. Kaminski has affinities with the visual recorder of that lost Jewish world, Marc Chagal. In fact, Kaminski is playing with the English tradition of the careful and sober recorded genealogy. Instead of the photographic recording of details, we get the symbolism of a Rosenbach uncle who blows up his neighborhood-if not the worlds and words of the Naturalists and social realists-while trying to re-invent, once more, color photography. This is no memory novel, and wild colors flash through the pages-red cavaliers right out of Viennese operettas, red stars out of the revolution in Russia, red roses, red lips, red blood-Kaminski has obviously "colorized " his family stories. In this manner, he joins literary theorists, the New Biographers, and the storytellers of his Jewish tradition, too. As the fictional Rabbi Shloimi Rosenbach tells us, 'Truth is the most precious of all possessions and should be used sparingly and with restraint." What a funny, "meshuggene mispocheh," that is, crazy family group or clan, Kaminski finds hidden in his own genes! Only a Swiss who has lived in Poland, Africa, and Israel and written plays and stories, as well as journalism, could see through so much that others have sentimentalized-or even believed. Move over, Pirandello, and lighten up, Kafka. Here, "persevering reader," is the wish that Jews still make every New Year: "Next year in Jerusalem." Who cares that Jerusalem is "ours" or that some of those making the wish would not go there on a bet? Enjoy. -- From Independent Publisher

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Andre Kaminski
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Kaminski, Andre
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