The Second Scroll

Klein, Abraham Moses

Published by New Canadian Library
ISBN 10: 0771093667 / ISBN 13: 9780771093661
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Synopsis: Written soon after the founding of the state of Israel, The Second Scroll is A.M. Klein?s most innovative and visionary work. The five ?books? of the novel are a modern testament of Jewish experience to which are appended ?glosses? or commentaries in the form of drama, epistle, poetry, and psalm. The action centres on a young writer from Montreal, whose search for his legendary Uncle Melech becomes a journey of revelation through Italy, Morocco, and the Holy Land. Dissident and exile, reformer and scholar, Melech is a messianic figure who enacts the destiny of his people and embodies the spiritual yearnings of everyman.

The Second Scroll, Klein?s only novel, combines the lyric genius of his poetic works with compelling reportage to create one of the most eloquent and original works in Canadian fiction.


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About the Author: Abraham Moses Klein was born in Ratno, Ukraine, in 1909. The following year his family emigrated to Montreal, where he was raised in the city?s Jewish immigrant district. Klein studied political science and classics at McGill University, earning his B.A. in 1930. Three years later, he took a law degree from the Université de Montréal. He practised law until his retirement in 1956.

While at McGill, Klein associated himself as a writer, editor, and educational director with Young Judea, the Canadian Zionist youth movement. While his early poetry examined his relationship to his Jewish heritage, the Depression and the rise of Nazism led him into the realm of political and social satire. His final volume of poetry, The Rocking Chair and Other Poems (1948), which won the Governor General?s Award, explores and responds to a broad spectrum of Canadian life and its traditions.

In 1949 Klein travelled on behalf of the Canadian Jewish Congress to the new State of Israel and to Jewish refugee camps in Europe and North Africa. This mission inspired his novel, The Second Scroll (1951). Shortly after its publication, Klein suffered a nervous breakdown. After his recovery, he became reclusive, relinquishing his seventeen-year editorship of the Canadian Jewish Chronicle and retiring from his law practice. He also stopped writing.

A.M. Klein died in Montreal in 1972.


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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Second Scroll
Publisher: New Canadian Library

Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: As New

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