Arnon Grunberg


Window washer

I stumbled upon an old article (2015) in The New Yorker on Yehuda Amichai by James Wood:

'This talent for quick, memorable phrase-making is an art of the popular, and one that many poets, strangely enough, lack. It is an element of Amichai’s ordinary vitality, the current that connects him to contemporary songwriters and antique balladeers. (In Israel, his poems have been used by musicians, and also by advertisers.) Occasionally, he abuses this facility: one can tire of the easy way in which he likens God to a tour guide (twice), or to a mechanic endlessly fixing the world; or Jacob to a “window washer to the VIPs,” carrying a ladder on his back. But the talent for likening God to a tour guide is related to the talent that comes up with this: “The war broke out in the fall, at the empty border / between grapes and citrus fruit.” And: “every day of our life together / Ecclesiastes cancels a line of his book.” Or this: “You had a laughter of grapes: / many round green laughs.” Or this: “And who will remember the rememberers?”

Read the article here.

This is an important question: who will remember the rememberers? Maybe they don't need to be remembered.

In the meantime I can live with the idea of God as a tourist guide, or with the metaphor of the tourist guide as a God in disguise.

After all, the tourist guide is also fairly absent and silent these days.

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