Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Wandering Jew

Appelfeld has written a strange, off-kilter novel with The Immortal Bartfuss.  We are treated to the odd life of Bartfuss himself, a “dealer” of unknown merchandise, some sort of legend with other dealers, a father to a grown daughter and a younger, mentally retarded daughter.  He hardly speaks to his wife and lives in a separate room from her.  Bartfuss has money and gold stashed in a secret location, which he reveals to no one.

Bartfuss can’t let his guard down.  He still lives the cagey life of the displaced person, running schemes, trusting no one, living a nomadic, bizarre life.  This rootless world is Bartfuss’ only legacy.  He can no longer settle down as he can die.

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