Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scholars with world wide reputations

Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness (2003) writes:

"As the years passed I became aware that Jerusalem, under British rule in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s must be a fascinatingly cultured city. It had big businessmen, musicians, scholars, and writers: Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, S. Y. Agnon, and a host of other eminent academics, and artists. Sometimes as we walked down Ben Yehuda Street or Ben Maimon Avenue, my father would whisper to me: "Look, there is a scholar with a worldwide reputation." I did not know what he meant. I thought that having a worldwide reputation was somehow connected with having weak legs, because the person in question was often an elderly man who felt his way with as stick and stumbled as he walked along, and wore a heavy suit even in summer."

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