Hillel Halkin Melisande!: What Are Dreams?

ISBN 13: 9781847084996

Melisande!: What Are Dreams?

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9781847084996: Melisande!: What Are Dreams?

A short but inspiring and moving novel, a love story with three principal characters, elegaic and melancholic and yet celebratory and joyful also, this is, at bottom, an ode to a woman. Its tenor is sentimental yet wise, combining rational intelligence with a deeper emotional instinct. As such it has something of the robust yet vulnerable wisdom of one of Saul Bellow's later novellas. Its narrator is a man in his mid-forties, a scholar of ancient philosophy known to us by his nickname of Hoo, whose wife Mellie has left him for reasons that only become clear in the course of the novel. Hoo and Mellie have known each other since going to high school together in New York in the 1950s - or perhaps, as Hoo sometimes feels, for much longer than that. Only at the novel's end are we told where he is as he is writing it. Until then we know only that he is surrounded by his books, out of which, when he opens them, fall notes from Mellie that he has stuck in them: messages, reminders, lists of groceries to buy and errands to run, birthday cards, declarations of love, all bringing back memories of their years together and driving the narrative forward. Yet Melisande is not just a narrative. It is an extended reflection on love itself; on the nature of the soul; on reality and dream; on how the choices we make when we are young pursue us for the rest of our lives. Its words fall quietly, one by one, like raindrops on water. The ripples they make spread and spread...

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Book Description:

An inspiring novel; a philosophical love story; a moving ode to a woman, as joyful and celebratory as it is elegiac. The narrator is a man in his forties, a scholar of ancient Greek philosophy known as Hoo. He has been given the nickname by Mellie, the woman he addresses in this book while exploring his memories of their years together and apart. The two of them have known each other since high school in New York in the 1950s - and perhaps, Hoo thinks, much longer than that. Only as the novel unfolds do his reasons for writing to her, and the full nature of their relationship, become clear.

About the Author:

Hillel Halkin is a writer, critic, and well-known translator whose journalism and essays from Israel have regularly appeared in publications like Commentary and The New Republic for over thirty years. His first book, Letters To An American Jewish Friend, the recipient of a National Jewish Book Award, caused spirited controversy. His much-acclaimed Across The Sabbath River: In Search Of A Lost Tribe of Israel, received the 2002 Lucy Dawidowicz Prize for the writing of history. A Strange Death: a story discovered in Palestine was published by Public Affairs (US) and Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) in 2005, and AB Yehoshua called it ' a personal adventure into the past whose skilled, gripping prose moves back and forth between the documentary and the imaginative...An artful treatment of history worthy of the highest praise.'

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