Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick - forthcoming April 2021 - 192 Pages
Antiquities is the fifth work by Cynthia Ozick upon which I have had The distinct pleasure of reading and posting upon. I have read one novel, Heir to The Glimmering World, three novellas, and one Short Story. All of her works can be characterized as related to Jewish themes. I have also read some of her literary Essays.
Antiquities, forthcoming from Knopf Publishing, will delight all lovers of her work. The setting is around 1949, a rather elderly man, Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, is preparing to write a memoir of his days at The Temple Academy for Boys. He is now one of seven surviving trustees, all of which are being asked to write memoirs.
The narration, filtered through his faltering at times memory is entrrlaced with curtent events in his Life. Much detail is devoted to his memories of his, a collector and merchant of real and fake Egyptian antiquities. We also learn about a cousin who was a famous archaeologist. The narrator goes into detail about his parents marriage.
The atmosphere at the School was subtly anti-semetic. Lloyd was fascinated by a Jewish student, Ben-Zion Elefantin, a mystifying older pupil who claims descent from Egypt’s Elephantine Island.
From here Ozick spins out a fascinsting tale in which we have to find reality through the ancient narrator’s story line.
Like all her work, Antiquities, manifests a very high intelligence and deep culture.
The Reading Life