Polica Dubova

Slovensko / English

Olga Tokarczuk: Jakobove bukve

Olga Tokarczuk
Jakobove bukve
Translated by Jana Unuk
936 pages
Format: 150 x 225 mm
Hardcover
Published by KUD Police Dubove
Year of publication: 2017
Series: Orbis pictus, 1
ISBN 978-961-7020-18-2
ISBN 978-961-7020-24-3 (epub)
Retail price: 35,90 €
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E-book price: 21,50 €

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The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on the eve of the partitions. A multicultural, multi-ethnic land closer to Istanbul than to Paris, and a man from nowhere who will change the fate of thousands of people. A great journey from peasant cottages, via aristocratic manors, to imperial chambers.
Mid-18th century, Podolia. It is here that Father Benedykt Chmielowski is trying to describe the whole world in his huge book, and there, at the house of the castellan’s wife Katarzyna Kossakowska, influential people meet, who will make an impact on many people’s lives. It is also here, at Elisha Schorr’s house that Jews are waiting for the coming of the Messiah.
In Podolia too, there appears a young, handsome and charismatic Jew – Jacob Leibowitz Frank. The mysterious stranger from faraway Smyrna begins to proclaim the ideas that will divide the Jewish community. For some he is a heretic, for others a saviour, who soon attracts a circle of devoted followers. The unrest he unleashes can change the course of history and transform the shape of this part of the world.
Olga Tokarczuk pays great attention to the details of the age – the realities, the architecture, the clothes, and smells. We visit aristocratic residences, Catholic presbyteries, and Jewish homesteads, pious and immersed in reading of mysterious writings. Before us is a bygone Poland, in which Christianity, Judaism, and Islam stood side by side.

From reviews

The Books of Jacob is an ambiguous novel, with as many meanings as the biography on which it is based. Tokarczuk draws upon Jacob Frank’s life story, but it is not just the main protagonist that she brings to life. Her reconstruction of the setting of the action is remarkable … Similarly intriguing are the portraits of the social groups she describes. Yet in the foreground is the irreconcilable conflict of ideas, which, in the world created by Tokarczuk, liberates, destroys, reopens, stigmatises as the Other, and forces one to discover one’s own weaknesses.

Bernadetta Darska, Onet.pl books

With The Books of Jacob, Tokarczuk has entered a new role which perhaps she has even been readying herself for some time: here, she is like nothing else but an obstreperous 21st-century prophetess who reaches back into the nation’s history to give it a good shake, iron it out and interpret it in her own way. Although the action of The Books of Jacob is set 250 years ago, takes place in small provincial towns or exotic cities and concerns matters that appear esoteric and obscure, this is a terribly relevant and important book. Extraordinary reading …”

Aleksandra Lipczak, Culture.pl

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Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
The book was published in the frame of cultural project which is co-funded by Slovenian Book Agency.
This book has been published with the support of the © POLAND Translation Programme.

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