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Philippe Laburthe-Tolra presents us with a great ethnographical and historical novel in search of black Islam of the early 1850s. His wandering narrative of love affairs, political intrigue and religious mysticism revives the culture of a people before colonization.
Novelist, essayist, and philosopher Manès Sperber is a major witness of the twentieth century. Born in 1905, he became the closest disciple of Adler, a Viennese psychologist known for his rejection of psychoanalysis. Driven from Berlin by the Nazis in 1933, he definitely broke with communism during the 1937 Moscow trials and established himself in the Parisian intellectual circles of Malraux, Camus, Koestler and Aron. Recognized in German countries as a major writer, his work has received many literary prizes. By publishing his three novels in one newly translated volume, Odile Jecob proposes a reference edition of this epic.
A non-practicing Jew, Manès Sperber learned to read the Bible at the age of three and continued to re-read it until the end of his life. Neither religious, nor a militant Zionist, nor an aethiest, nor aligned with any cultural Judaism, he professes as his only faith a "religion of good memory." His is a Judaism lived as humanism and as an ethic, as a refusal of all idolatry, of exclusion of others, and a constant combat against hate of any kind. It is a profound attachment to the Israelite nation and a prudent attitude towards the State of Israel that Sperber illustrates in these brilliant essays prefaced by Elie Weisel, where analysis of Jewish thought and identity walk hand in hand with the eternal question: Why anti-semitism?
How does absolute passion express itself in Middle-Eastern and in Western societies?