Love, compassion, and longing

Nurith Gertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The year was 1973 when I read the story Late Love by Amos Oz, and underlined the following passage: […] something must, absolutely must, reveal itself, a formula, a dazzling system, a purpose, surely it is inconceivable that you will go from birth to death without experiencing a single flash of illumination, without encountering a single ray of sharp light, without something happening, surely it is impossible that all your life you have been nothing more than a barren dream inside yourself, surely there is something, something must make itself known, there must be something. After reading these lines, I decided to write my MA thesis on Amos Oz. After Late Love, I went on to read My Michael and Where the Jackals Howl, as well as many of his articles and interviews he’d given. And only afterwards I was bold enough to write him, asking if we could meet. Quickly and succinctly, he replied: “What is there to discuss? You can find everything [you are looking for] in my books and essays.” Still, just a few days later, we met at Café Peter for a lively conversation, which felt like a real dialogue. That conversation which was the basis for my book, What was Lost to Time: A Biography of a Friendship, is the essence of this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Amos Oz
  • Literature
  • Zionism


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