The Pure Element of Time

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Published in 1998 as Havalim, The Pure Element of Time is a rich and evocative autobiographical novel about a writer’s development. With his keen eye and opulent writing style, Haim Be’er turns the story of his childhood and maturity into a complex and gripping work of art. Constructed as a triptych, The Pure Element of Time begins with the author’s boyhood. Raised in an orthodox family in an old Jerusalem neighborhood in the early 1950s, Be'er was profoundly influenced by his overly pious grandmother, who was, nonetheless, a natural storyteller whose richly evocative parables and tales inspired his lifelong love for language. The middle section depicts his parents’ marriage, a tragic misalliance between a smart, independent Jerusalem-born woman and a withdrawn and defeated refugee from the Russian pogroms. The emergence of the writer’s individual literary voice―informed by, yet ultimately transcending, the influences of tradition and history―forms the emotional and psychological core of Be’er’s work.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWaltham, Massachusetts
PublisherBrandies University Press
Number of pages304
ISBN (Electronic)9781611684322
ISBN (Print)9781584652779
StatePublished - 2002

Publication series

NameThe Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry series
PublisherBrandies University Press


  • Hebrew literature
  • Modern


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